Thursday, September 30, 2010

OPI Catch the Garter

I'm still ill...but I took the opportunity of having my mom home all day to paint her nails! My mom hardly ever paints her nails - in fact, the only times I can remember her having her nails painted is when I did them. :) She wanted something that would be work-appropriate and not flashy, so I used OPI Catch the Garter, a light pink from OPI's Bridal collection that I got on clearance at Trade Secret. This is two coats:

Doesn't it look great on her? I'm very jealous of my mom's healthy nails - they hardly ever break, probably because she takes much better care of her nails than I do (no polish remover, polish, etc.). I hope you're all having a great week!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sinful Colors Happy Ending

Night before last, I painted my nails with Sinful Colors Happy Ending, a bright green with gold shimmer. I've had Happy Ending for some time, but I'd only worn it once before and couldn't really remember what it was like. After wearing it the second time, I have no clue how I could have forgotten this beauty! It's a gorgeous, apple-y green...perhaps the color of a poisoned apple from a fairy tale? I don't have any outdoor pictures for you today. I feel like I'm falling down on the job lately, but I'm sick today (I actually stayed home from school), and I didn't really feel like going outside in my giant t-shirt and sweatpants. 

indoors, artificial light

Yesterday evening, I added some...well...I'm not sure what to call them. Funky French tips? Anyway, I added a little OPI Mad as a Hatter - I thought it would be good especially because the gold glitter in it would go well with Happy Ending's gold shimmer. 

indoors, artificial light

I really love this! After I put it on, I realized that both polishes are fairy-tale themed. It must have been a match made in Neverland! :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

NYC Empire State Blue

Today I have for you New York Color Empire State Blue. It's a bright blue with gold shimmer, and while the wear is not that great, it's a gorgeous color. At first, I was afraid it would be too sheer, but it's perfectly opaque in three coats. Click on the pictures to enlarge - it's a lot easier to see the beautiful gold shimmer!

 outside, clouds
inside, artificial light

See that chip? Yeah...I applied this Friday night, took these pictures this morning, and that chip already has several friends. Wear isn't a huge deal for me since I change my polish often, but it would be nice if I could go two full days without chipping. I'm starting to think maybe it's my top coat, though. I've been using up the last dregs of my bottle of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, and I've had to add quite a bit of thinner to keep it from being super-gloopy. Does thinner ever affect the lasting power of top coat? It doesn't seem like it would, but my last several manis have not had good wear.

I only have two NYC polishes, one of which I've had for about four years now, but Empire State Blue is making me wonder why that is. NYC products in general are cheap, and while I've never used anything but their polish, both of those have been good quality, and they seem to have some nice colors...I have a feeling this will not be my last NYC polish. :) Have a great (short) rest of the weekend!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nina Ultra Pro Brassi Bronze - Plus Awesome Stuff!

I can never seem to think of good post titles, haha. Anyway, I mattified Nina Ultra Pro Brassi Bronze, and this is it after one day:. Unfortunately, I already have a couple chips - I don't know if that's Nina Ultra Pro's formula or my matte top coat, Essie Matte About You. Also, please forgive my terribly fingers/cuticles.

 outdoors, sunlight
 outdoors, shade
indoors, artificial light

I really like this color! I'm actually not a huge fan of it on its own when it's glossy for some reason (though I like it in a design with blue or some other color), but I LOVE it matte. The color doesn't change or anything, so I'm not quite sure why that is...but it doesn't matter. And then I had to add a coat of Hidden Treasure:

So I realize this looks a bit odd in the picture, but it's gorgeous in real life. The colors in Hidden Treasure complement the bronze very nicely, really making the polish glow. 

And with that, I've got homework to do. Have a great weekend!

EDIT: Just to let you all know, I am trying to get another archive post written, but I'm having trouble finding websites that render properly on Urgh, frustration. Hopefully soon!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Military Bling

After a few days of WASP, I decided to give it a little makeover with Sephora by OPI Only Gold For Me. I need to get a backup bottle of this stuff...I love it!

Is that gorgeous, or is that gorgeous? In my humble opinion, Only Gold for Me looks good with just about everything. :) Happy hump day, and I hope the rest of the week is fantastic for all of you!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I set out yesterday to create a franken of Chanel Khaki Vert, which is part of Les Khakis de Chanel. After experimenting with several different combinations on an index card, I finally came up with the following: 1/2 Orly Prince Charming, 1/4 Orly Enchanted Forest, and 1/4 Revlon Minted. The fractions are very approximate, though, so if you decide to do this yourself, mix small bits at a time (and really, that's a good idea anyway). I used an old Bon Bons bottle because I didn't want to use too much of my base polishes, and because they have one ball in each bottle - not two, but better than none. However, their small size does make them difficult to take photos with...oh well. I don't have any of the Chanel khakis, so I can't compare them in person, but I think my franken is a bit greyer than Khaki Vert. Here are two coats with top coat:

outside, shade
outside, sunlight
indoors, artificial light

I decided to name my franken WASP after the Women Airforce Service Pilots from World War II. I've always been rather interested in that period, and particularly interested in WASP after reading Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith earlier this year. Anyway, I thought it was kind of a good name, and I'm very happy with the polish itself. I may even make franken-dupes of the other two

Here are links to the swatches I used in creating WASP: Frazzle and Aniploish, The Nailphile, My little world of polish by Lily Nail, All Lacquered Up, and Lacquerized. Thanks, ladies!

So, how close do you think I got?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Piggy Polish Just Before Dawn

I'm absolutely exhausted, so today's post won't be too long. Just Before Dawn is a black jelly packed with red glitter. Here are three coats:

artificial light

In very dim light, Just Before Dawn does appear black, but most of the time the glitter is visible. It's a very pretty polish - the jelly base makes it look "squishy," while the glitter gives it a nice depth. This would definitely be a good polish if you're in the mood for a black, but want something a bit fancier.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Essie Archives

I decided to look at Essie's archives next to see how their website and brand has changed over the years. The first thing I noticed was that even in its very beginning, Essie's site was much more polished (excuse the pun) and pretty than OPI's. Here's the main page from 2002 (as always, click to enlarge):

Next, I took a look at Essie's "New Collections" page, which featured the "GoGo" collection::

As you can see, their colors were much more varied than OPI's collections of the time, including a neutral and a purple in one collection rather than being entirely made up of fairly generic pinks and reds - unfortunately, their variety means I'm now totally lemming Orient X-Presso, and I imagine it's really hard to find. *sigh* I guess that's what I get for doing good research. :) Unfortunately, I couldn't find pictures of their regular colors from the time, and the pictures didn't show up on later versions of the site. :( Anyway, I was very impressed, and from what I could see, Essie was ahead of the curve as far as website design at the time. And while I don't know if they're still ahead of the curve, they're definitely on the front end of the curve...or something. Anyway, here's a screenshot of their current site:

As with the OPI site...gorgeous!

I just finished painting my nails with Piggy Polish Just Before Dawn, but as it's 9:30 P.M., you won't be seeing pictures until tomorrow. I hope you're all having a great week...and if you're not, at least it's halfway over! :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

OPI Archives

In my Internet Media Class today, we used a site called One of the site's features allows you to view archives of pretty much any website, and of course I had to check out some nail polish websites. I thought what I found was pretty interesting, and so I'll be featuring the progressions of nail polish websites in a few upcoming posts. Today, I'm starting with OPI. In 2002, this is what OPI's main page looked like (click to enlarge any of these pics):
This only took up about 1/3 of my computer screen, and while it's a lot better-looking than some other websites from that period, I don't think it's particularly remarkable. After looking at the main page, I decided to check out some of their collections.
European Collection
Far East Collection
New York City Collection

For some reason, some of the pictures refused to show up...sorry about that. Anyway, I'm sure you can all tell that most of these colors are pink or red. I think I see about two purples? I know a lot of people complain about OPI only putting out reds and pinks; well, we've come a long way, folks. I also particularly noticed one polish in the Far East collection: Pearl of Wisdom. There is a polish called Pearl of Wisdom in the Hong Kong collection from earlier this year, and as far as I can tell from comparing my bottle and the picture, they are exactly the same. Caught you, OPI! Also, who knew OPI produced lipsticks? Not me, for sure.

And for a little perspective, here's a screenshot of the current OPI site:


What do you think of this post? Are you interested in seeing more? (I'm thinking Essie next...)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Geometry Time!

Not geometry as in math class...geometry is my least favorite part of math, and that's saying something. However, I do like to play around with geometry on my nails, which is what I did yesterday, and I'm really loving the manicure so far. I used Zoya Robyn for the blue (probably my favorite blue...I will have to review it on here at some point) and a Sally Hansen nail art pen in white (thank you Emily of Nail Junkie!) for the designs. However, I had a strange experience with the nail art pen - I've used the gold pen, and never had any problems, but the white cracked when I put top coat on it. :( I added a little bit of white polish over the cracks and applied more top coat, but I don't feel like that should be necessary. Is it just my top coat (Sally Hansen Insta-Dri), or have others experienced this too? Anyway, sorry for the long-winded intro. Voila!

right hand - artificial light
right hand - shade
right hand - sunlight
left hand - artificial light
left hand - shade
left hand - sunlight

So what do you think? The difference between the sunlight and shade pictures is kind of negligible...I was catching the very end of the sunlight. I love fall and winter, but I am now experiencing the frustration of nail bloggers everywhere - earlier sunsets! The cooler weather is totally worth it, though. Hope you all had a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Orly Purple Pleather

Purple Pleather is the last polish from the Plastix collection. It seemed to me like it was slightly more matte than the other polishes, but that could have been entirely my imagination. As with the other Plastix, it covered very well in two coats, and I probably could have done one if I used thicker coats. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture in artificial light before I took my polish off, so I just have two pics for you all today.

 outside, shade
outside, sunlight

Please excuse the wear on this one - satin finishes wear faster (in my experience) because you can't put a top coat on them without changing the finish. The true color of Purple Pleather is somewhere in between these two pictures. It's not as blue as the first one, and not quite as red as the second. However, it is a very pretty color, and, as with all the Plastix, I love the finish. Purple Pleather is also like the other Plastix in that it is not a particularly unique color, so if you're not a big fan of the satin finish, you probably don't need to rush out and buy this while you can still find it. If you ARE a big fan (like me) of the satin finish, though, rush out and buy this. :) Have a great Sunday!

New Polish Blogs!

So I've been REALLY bad at updating this...whoops. Anyway, here are some new (and some not-so-new but new to me) polish blogs I've started following:

Confessions of Polishaholic
Bitten Apple
TesJOe's Blog
For Your Nails Only
Bellyful of Nail Polish
Tuli's Nails
You Nailed It!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Orly Viridian Vinyl

I know I said I'd be showing you more of the OPI Hong Kong collection...but then I finally found the other half of the Orly Plastix collection, and of course I couldn't resist! I already had Retro Red and Old School Orange, but all the displays I'd seen were out of Viridian Vinyl and Purple Pleather. Tuesday, though, I was out of town and decided to stop by a Sally Beauty Supply, and there was one bottle of each left!

It's been raining, so I only have inside pictures for this one...however, the color is very accurate. All of the polishes have a "plastic" or semi-matte (or satin) finish, which I absolutely love. I really like matte glitters and shimmers, but I'm not a big fan of most matte cremes because they just look so flat and make my skin look so shiny and greasy. Plastic finishes, however, are in my opinion absolutely gorgeous, and I really wish that some company made a satin top coat, because I would be all over that. Anyway. Aside from the finish, the color of Viridian Vinyl is very pretty. I don't think it's that unique - Sally Hansen The Real Teal, for example, looks very similar in the bottle - but the plastic finish makes it special. It's also very opaque, which is nice. I barely needed two coats. 

In conclusion, if you don't like plastic finishes, stay away, because you can find the color itself elsewhere. But if you're like me and love a good semi-matte, get your hands on this one.

P.S. Oh, and I added some glitter on the second day...because I just can't help myself. :) Sorry for the bad picture.

Monday, September 6, 2010

OPI Chop-sticking To My Story

If you're in the U.S., happy Labor Day! If not...well...happy Monday!I'm out of town today, so that's why I'm not holding the polish bottle in my pictures - I forgot to bring it with me! Good thing my polish hasn't chipped. Yet. *crosses fingers*

indoors, artificial light
shade (sort of - it's inside, but the overhead light wasn't on)

I absolutely love this color. It's a rich, orangey, caramel brown, most accurately represented in the last photo. I also love the way Chop-sticking to My Story looks with my skin tone (though I hate the hyphen in the name), and I can never stop staring at its glossy gorgeousness, which makes typing rather difficult. :) I feel like now would be a good time to confess that I love the entire Hong Kong collection. In addition to Chop-sticking to My Story, I own Red My Fortune Cookie, A Good Man-darin is Hard to Find, Hot & Spicy, Jade is the New Black, Suzi Says Feng Shui, Dim Sum Plum, and Pearl of Wisdom, and they are all amazing. In fact, you may be seeing a lot of the Hong Kong polishes in the upcoming few posts...I suspect my next few manis will come from this collection.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

China Glaze Watermelon Rind

I'm sorry I've been gone for over a week...there's a lot going on in my life right now, and while I've still been painting my nails (of course), I just haven't had the time to take pictures and write blog posts. 

My most recent manicure is China Glaze Watermelon Rind. I've had the color for a while and used it several times, and I really like it. There is a bit of wear, but this is after four or five days (I'm not quite sure when I applied it...):

inside, artificial light
outside, shade
outside, sun

The first and third pictures are quite accurate, but I think I must've been reflecting some trees in the shaded picture - Watermelon Rind is not that green. I prefer wearing this color when my nails are a bit longer because it's a shimmer, but I still think it looks lovely, and I'd definitely recommend it for my fellow blue-green lovers. Hope you're all having a great weekend, and that it won't be so long until my next post!