Thursday, 31 January 2013

Swatch & Review - OPI Mariah Carey Collection Part 2 Liquid Sand

There are a few new things you may notice with the blog. First is the watermark in my photos, I've learned how to do the curved watermark! Also, I've changed the colour from purple (my fav colour) to white, since it goes with everything and won't take attention away from polish colour. Second, I decided to try putting photos together side by side to avoid a post being super long. Of course I am only using this method to showcase comparisons and what not. So the pictures might be on the smal side, just click and enlarge them. Let me know what you think of these new features and changes!

Finally I caved in and decided to get the second half of the Mariah Carey collection, the liquid sand polishes. I only got the mini set because I was still unsure about whether I'd like the finish. So here it is liquid sand ladies and gentlemen!

Liquid sand is a new polish texture that dries matte with some texture (bit like fine glitter), but allows the sparkles in the polish to shine through to avoid making the polish look dull. When you're putting on the polish, you can see the tiny little beads that give the polish its sand-like texture.

Below I have done a few comparisons to compare 1 coat vs. 2 coats, as well as top coat vs. no top coat. For the top coat, I applied 2 VERY generous, VERY thick coats. And you know what? It probably could have gone for another coat. Yes, these guys are THAT hungry for TC.
Edit: adding TC darkens the colour of the polish, making it more true to bottle colour.

Can't Let Go:
Purple base with small purple glitter and large purple hex glitter. One of the more opaque/pigmented of the four.
Comparing 2 coats (index) vs. 1 coat (middle)
Left is with flash, right is without flash

Comparing no TC (index) vs. with TC (middle)
Left to right: no flash, flash and no flash at an angle to better show difference

Get Your Number:
Blue jelly with holographic glitter and tiny holographic sparkles. Formula is thinner for this guy.
Comparing 2 coats (ring) vs. 1 coat (pinky)
Left is with flash, right is without flash

Comparing no TC (ring) vs. with TC (pinky)
Left to right: no flash, flash and no flash at an angle to better show difference

Stay The Night:
Black jelly with fuchsia glitter and small silver sparkles. Formula on this one was surprisingly thin (thinnest of the 4), prone to bald spots; therefore, probably need 3 coats
Comparing 2 coats (index) vs. 1 coat (middle)
Left is with flash, right is without flash

Comparing no TC (index) vs. with TC (middle)
Left to right: no flash, flash and no flash at an angle to better show difference

The Impossible:
Pink jelly with pink glitter. There are no star glitters in the mini bottles, so if the stars are the reason you wanted to get this polish, get the full size not the mini set. I heard the stars are rather tough to fish out anyway, so I'm ok with these not having stars. The pigmentation on this was surprisingly good! I had expected this guy to be sheer, but nope. This was a surprise favorite for me!
Comparing 2 coats (ring) vs. 1 coat (pinky)
Left is with flash, right is without flash
Comparing no TC (ring) vs. with TC (pinky)
Left to right: no flash, flash and no flash at an angle to better show difference

The finish on these were rougher than I expected. From what I read on other blogs I expected it to be smoother than dried glitter, but it felt just like dried glitter. More specifically it feels like the fine glitters that China Glaze was making last year (eg. Glistening Snow, etc). I probably would not put on delicate clothing made of satin or other materials that might become fuzzy from rubbing with the gritty texture. Dry time was REAL long for the full liquid sand effect to come about. I waited at least 10 minutes per coat to avoid bubbles and what not. Removal was surprisingly easy. Bonus! It's still harder than removing creams, but much easier than glitter or foil polishes.The colour becomes darker (more true to bottle colour) when you apply top coat.

My favorites were probably The Impossible and Get Your Number.

Overall, I'm still not sold on the liquid sands...sadness I know. I really wanted to like them, so I'm glad I just got the mini set instead of 4 large bottles. Maybe with some time they will grow on me. Or maybe the gold liquid sand from the Oz collection will change my mind. Have you guys tried out this liquid sand finish? What do you think of it?

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Haul - San Jose Haul of Guilt!!!

Gosh! I am feeling guilty about this massive haul, but it also made me super happy and excited. So does that mean the emotions cancel out? Either way, my wallet is crying. It was and still is very exciting to manage to squash some of my lemmings with this haul. I tried to show everything in one shot without a distracting background as best I can. Without further ado here is what I got.

Top row, left to right: Mariah Carey Liquid Sand Mini Set (Get You Number, Can't Let Go, The Impossible and Stay The Night) and China Glaze Party Hearty Set (Phat Santa, Party Hearty and Jolly Holly)

Middle row, left to right: OPI Steady As She Rose, OPI Live And Let Die, Essie Stroke Of Brilliance, Zoya Electra, 2 bottles of Seche Vite Top Coat, ChG Razzle Me Dazzle Me, ChG Light As Air and ChG Skyscraper

Bottom row (all Color Club), left to right: Revvvolution, Fashion Addict, Antiquated, Foil Me Once, Factory Girl, Halo-graphic, Cherubic, Angel Kiss and Cloud Nine
Above shows a close-up shot of the Part Hearty Set, which are full size bottles. I have been looking for Party Hearty for a long long time now, and seeing it made me jump over the moon. It didn't matter that I had to pay more to have the set in order to have this lemming.

Now you may be wondering which lemmings I managed to squash in this haul. They were...(starting from ones I would have killed to obtain)
          OPI What's With The Cattitude killed by Color Club Factory Girl
          ChG Party Hearty
          Essie Stroke of Brilliance
          OPI Steady As She Rose

Have you had any hauls of guilt or squashed some lemmings recently? If you'd like close up pictures of any of the polishes, I'd be more than happy to post them! Toodles and thanks for stopping by~

Monday, 28 January 2013

Swatch - Urban Outfitters Tiny Shirt

Hello hello, I realised I haven't posted anything in the last few days, so I feel like I have some catching up to do! I had a very eventful and awesome weekend. In fact, it felt like a long weekend even though it was just a regular weekend. Weird huh? That was the first time I had experienced this. I realised I might have to go on a "no buy" phase for the next 2 months!!! Due to buying too many polishes, while I'm in the US. Everything is just so much cheaper at nail supply stores in the US, compared to me going to a salon to buy polish at home. Needless to say, I've been hauling polishes like squirrels collecting nuts! Did a huuuuge haul this weekend when I got to go down to San Jose, while my boyfriend went to watch the hockey game. I think I have officially found my nail polish heaven!!! Guess it's a good thing I don't live near San Jose...otherwise my bank account would be going into the sub-zeroes...yikes! I'll do a super short post on my haul real soon, just to give you guys a glimpse of what I got. There were some polishes I had almost given on finding, but I found them at this store! I also got my first holographic polishes! So so so excited to wear all the colours! Alright enough blabbering, time for the swatch.

Tiny Shirt is a super bright highlighter/bubble gum neon pink cream polish. This polish absolutely refused to photograph correctly, it was incredibly frustrating. I tried all different types of lighting. In the pictures it looks like a baby pink (same family as OPI Pink Friday), but in reality it's more like a highlighter pink, so a darker pink than baby pink. Though, I do admit this guy tends to look different under different lightings. So there are times when it would look more along the lines of baby pink and being softer. And another thing, this polish is extremely bright and obnoxious! If you wear this colour, you are definitely attracting a lot of attention to your nails.

Pictures show:
Ring & pinky: 2 coats of polish, 1 coat TC
Middle & index: 3 coats of polish, without TC

Natural Light

With Flash

The picture below compares surface finish (with and without top coat).
Artificial Light

Surface finish: rubber with bit of shine, TC recommended
Formula: bit tough to work with because a bit thick and gloopy. Make sure have lots of polish on brush to cover whole nail and avoid patchiness
Prone to: bald-spots, patchiness
Dry time: slightly slower than usual
Pigmentation: good, should only need 2 medium coats, but prone to patchiness so did 3 on some nails.
Removal: easy

Overall I really like this polish. I kept staring at my fingers cause the colour was so bright and fun. I really needed something fun, since I'm a little sick of winter colours at the moment. What do you think of this bright fun colour?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

NOTD - Triangle Tape Mani

Whoohoo my first tape mani! I used China Glaze Creative Fantasy as the base then taped off my nails in V's. The V parts are China Glaze Glistening Snow. I used a generous amount of glistening snow for each nail in order for the glitter to be dense enough, though the glitter is already very dense for this polish.

I used top coat on Creative Fantasy (only on index and ring fingers) before adding Glistening snow. I loved the different textures in this look: the rubber finish of Creative Fantasy, the juicy top coat and the rough glitter. It's just so visually interesting!

 Lastly, I put top coat on all nails as a final step for ultra glossy looking nails. I also love this high shine, smooth look.

Which look do you prefer (before or after final top coat)? Have you done tape mani's of your own?

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Swatch & Review - OPI Mariah Carey Collection Part 1

The Mariah Carey collection has been acquired!! I have been waiting for this collection for awhile, since I'm a big MC fan. I'll be showing you my picks of the studio shades today. Hopefully I'll get the liquid sand polishes soon, though I am still kind of on the fence about them. So if you guys really love or hate the liquid sand finishes let me know!

A Butterfly Moment:
This is a nude with gold shimmer, slightly frosty finish. The shimmer is not very obvious, but it really adds dimension. Formula was a tad difficult, but nothing major. Quite pigmented, 2 coats below with top coat on the middle and pinky (no TC index and ring). TC is recommended since the polish dries to a dull finish. Dry time was normal. Not prone to brush strokes or bald spots. Removal was harder than expected, more difficult than creams but much easier than foils.
 With flash

Pink Yet Lavender:
Large pink (slight lavender tone under certain light) hexagon glitter with small round holographic glitter in a clear base. Great glitter pay off at one coat (shown in pictures below). Removal was tough the way glitters usually are. Would not recommend this to be worn on its own, so I have shown it layered below on top of A Butterfly Moment and Sprung with top coat.
 With flash

 With flash

 Copper foil polish with specks of red and gold. Formula was easy to work with, but does not dry shiny (though adding TC is not much different, doesn't bring polish alive as I had expected). Pigmented (2 coats with TC on middle and pinky) though prone to bald-spots (seen on index finger). Removal is the usual for foil polishes (harder than creams).
With flash

Anti-bleak was too similar to Casino Royale, I thought, so I opted to not get it. Which colours were your favorite from the studio shades? Also, what are your thoughts on the liquid sand polishes?

Haul - Zoya (Try 3 Free Promotion)

Today I have a haul to show you that I got from Zoya through their try 3 free promotion. What the promotion was basically is you order 3 polishes for free and only pay for shipping ($10) when using the promotional code. Unfortunately the promotion has ended, but from what I see it seems like they have promotions quite often, so keep your eyes peeled!

This is what the box looked like when I opened it. There was lots of paper to cushion the box of polishes.

 A pamphlet of all the colours Zoya sells came along with the purchase! (If anyone wants of picture of the pamphlet opened I will gladly post one, since it's so colourful and makes me happy when I read the pamphlet)

 The polishes came in this cute little Zoya box! (I say little because the box is smaller than the OPI boxes)

Alright, on to the polishes! You probably wondering why there's 4 bottles of polishes. Well because on top of the 3 I was getting for free, I ordered a polish from the new Lovely collection (which was excluded from the promotion). Still, though, I only ended up paying $18 in total for the 4 bottles, not too shabby if you ask me ;)

 Left to right: Aurora, Zuza, Frida, and Neely

With flash

Neely was a must for me since that's my name! Except my name is spelled with "ie" instead of "y". Either way I had to have it! Hope you enjoyed this haul post and let me know if you've ordered something through this promotion as well!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Swatch - OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls (Spiderman Collection)

I have a swatch from the OPI Spiderman collection that released last summer. My Boyfriend Scales Walls is an off white, basically the lightest shade of grey possible before it becomes white. This seems to be a favorite of many bloggers out there as a base for nail art. Before this baby came out everyone was using OPI Alpine Snow. So this is quite a revolutionary white!

Below you can see what I meant by this shade is actually a grey. I compared the polish to the cap of a bottle of Essie. Bam! This shade now looks grey, couldn't tell from the picture above could you?

I used 2 coats with TC. It was very pigmented for a white polish and dried with some shine; not prone to brush-strokes or bald spots; and removal was easy as per usual for creams.

How do you like this shade? Do you like that it is off white or prefer pure white?

Spiderman collection: Just Spotted The Lizard, My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Number One Nemesis, Call Me Gwen-ever, Into The Night, Your Web Or Mine?

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Share - Cutie-cles Giveaway

Cutie-cles is giving away 2 bottles of OPI polishes and one isn't even release yet! Go check out the giveaway here! Please also browse around the blog because it is amazing!

Share - Rebecca Likes Nails Giveaway

Happy happy Wednesday everyone~ Today I'm sharing with you a giveaway being held by Rebecca Likes Nails. Not only is there a great giveaway but she's also got a super awesome blog! So check out the blog while you're entering for the giveaway!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Swatch - China Glaze Metallic Muse

Today I have a swatch of China Glaze Metallic Muse. I was very excited when I got this polish because I had read that the Khrome collection by China Glaze were very good for stamping. Not to mention this collection of frost polish also dried to a mirror finish and are not brush-stroke prone. In other words, this collection is awesome! The sad thing is that it was release in 2009 and it's next to impossible to get your hands on the whole collection, let alone the ultra popular 2030 and Millenium. But you can still get your hands on Metallic Muse and Robotika through etailers.

 Warm artificial light

With flash

You can really see the mirror like shine in the first picture, and see in both that it's not brush stroke prone. 

Dry time - fast
Formula - Slightly gloopy so harder to work with. May be me taking too long to put on this fast drying polish.
Finish - Frost (smooth), smooth meaning you can't see all the small particles in the polish (eg. OPI Your Royal Shine-ness)
Does not dry shiny, though top coat does not make a huge difference in my opinion. I kind of like it without top coat. 
Tends to show imperfections of nails (eg. ridges)

I actually really like frosts when they are as smooth as this baby and dry to a mirror-like finish. So this polish is definitely one of my favs. I love it when my nails look like they're made of metal. 

What do you think of this polish? Do you own any polishes from the Khrome collection?

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Swatch - China Glaze Bridezilla

Bridezilla by China Glaze is a white glass fleck in sheer pink base. At first I was a little concerned that the sparkles might not show up on the nail, but I underestimated this cute and innocent looking polish. Turns out this thing is packed with sparkle! In fact, you almost don't even notice the pink cause it's so shimmery on the nail (until the 3rd coat which brings out more of the pink).

The polish is quite sheer so I used 3 coats for the photos below. Middle and pinky have 1 coat of TC, while index and ring is without TC. The pinky has a little black speck in it that seemed to have made its way onto my nail while putting on TC. As you can see the polish is quite shiny and TC is not absolutely needed. However, if you like the super shine that TC gives then lather that baby on.

With flash
(most color accurate to real life)

 Natural light

Below shows how the polish builds upon each layer.
          Index & Middle: 1 coat
          Ring: 2 coats
          Pinky: 3 coats

As you can see the polish actually builds quite nicely, even though it is sheer. Dry time was normal. Surprisingly this polish was not prone to brush strokes, but was prone to bald spots (hence 3 layers). Overall, I really like this polish!

After a day of wearing Bridezilla, I was eying my bottle of China Glaze Fairy Dust and thought it would be awesome to layer it over Bridezilla. So I did just that and I love the outcome! The look is so delicate and pretty.

 Warm artificial light
Blurred to see the holographic sparkle of Fairy Dust.

What do you guys think about Bridezilla? What about in combination with Fairy Dust? Thanks for reading~

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

NOTD - Stamping with China Glaze Robotika and Cheeky Plates

Hello everyone! I decided to try my hand at stamping a full image for the first time today. Since I wasn't liking Desert Sun against my skin tone too much I thought I would try to do some type of safari-like nails. I received China Glaze Robotika for Christmas and the main reason I wanted this polish was for stamping. Now this was my first time stamping a full pattern for a whole nail, so the stamping is FAR from pretty. Out of 10 nails I was only satisfied with 3...*sigh* I'll just have to keep practicing! Also, sorry for the slightly blurry pictures. I guess I wasn't able to hold my hands steady anymore by the end of the night before bed. And one last apology, which is for my dry fingers. There was no hope since I had spent the holidays is such a cold and extremely dry climate.

Left then right hand taken with warm artificial light (no flash)

 Left then right hand taken with warm artificial light and flash.

I used China Glaze Desert Sun as the base and stamped with China Glaze Robotika using what I call a "pebble" pattern from Cheeky CH01 plate. Loved this color combo! For some nails there was no full coverage by stamp and others where the stamping was messed up. I found Robotika a bit harder to stamp with than other polishes I have used, and I think it may be due to it's fast dry time meaning I need to work even faster when stamping. Need more practice definitely! Thought the Cheeky plate was excellent, all the details of the pattern came out clean each time!

Despite the bad stamping job by me, what do you guys thing of the color combo and pattern? What does this pattern remind you of? I think it looks like pebbles in a stream.
Thanks for stopping by!
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