Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fun Sunday: The Versatile Blogger Award

Hello loves and happy Sunday to you all! First, a little rant. Next week is gonna be very busy because I have a really hard exam and so little time to study. I have a lot of pictures to edit but no time to do it. So I'm gonna do something that I haven't done before, take a longer blogging break. I'm gonna be done on Friday, so don't expect a new post until then. Hope you will forgive me! 

I was nominated for this award by 3 lovely bloggers. You can check out their blogs yourself  here: I Bleed PolishPsycho Nails and Lacquer or Leave Her!. I'm very honored and thankful that they thought of me! The reason I've been postponing this post is the fact that I have to write 7 random things about myself (again) and I'm not very good at that. Even while I'm writing this introduction, I have no idea what I'm gonna say about myself. Oh well...

1.I drive a blue Citroen C3. It's a small car, but so easy to drive and I love it! 
2.I'm kind of a morning person. Well, I'm not one of those who wake up at 6 am, but I function better in the morning. I hate it when I have classes in the afternoon and studying at night just doesn't work for me. 
3.I have a very good visual memory and that's what I rely on when studying. 
4.I'm really bad at remembering numbers. The only way I can remember them is by visualizing them written (visual memory again). 
5.I'm always early when I have to be somewhere at a certain time. I hate being on the rush and I love taking my time to do stuff properly. 
6.I live in the attic of my house. It's a very large room and I have a lot of privacy, which I love.
7.I used to love playing computer games but now I don't have time to do it anymore. I envy the people who have a lot of free time.

That's it. Hope I didn't bore you too much. I was supposed to pass this to 15 other bloggers, but since I'm the last one to do this tag, I'm sure everybody has got this by now. If you haven't, please feel free to do it. I hope you all have a nice and fun Sunday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Eyeko Rain polish

Hello lovely readers! I'm sure you are all happy about the weekend starting. Sadly, I will be studying the whole weekend because I have an exam next week. I'm already very tired from all the work I did today, and I'm totally behind on reading other people's blogs. Hope they won't be too mad at me! But let's get to the polish, shall we?

Eyeko Rain, 2 coats, artificial light
This is an older Eyeko polish that I repurchased when I found out they were discontinued. My older bottle (only 8 ml) was almost empty and what was on the bottom was extremely thick. Unfortunately, the formula of this new bottle is also pretty thick. I definitely need to get myself a bottle of thinner. I don't know what's going on lately, but I'm not very lucky with my manicures. 

Rain is a light blue greysh polish with a hidden shimmer. The shimmer doesn't really translate on the nail, especially after you put top coat over it (which it needed to level out better). I love this color and I find it very elegant and so appropriate for fall/winter. It's very dusty, but not boring at all. 

If you want this polish you should really hurry. There still is a seller on ebay that has them. I'm not sure you would need it though. It's pretty expensive for 8 ml and I believe it's very similar to China Glaze Sea Spray (though I don't own that one to do a comparison). 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

H&M Moody Model and some holo

Hello beautiful readers! I'm sorry for the lack of posts this week. I wanted to post this last night, but I ended up going out and didn't have the time. Hope you won't be too mad at me if I show you this beautiful combo. It's a manicure that started as a big failure, but ended up to be awesome. Here's what I'm talking about.

The base color for this is H&M Moody Model. This polish has been in my collection since last summer, but I just couldn't bring myself to wear it until now. It's a teal creme that leans very green and is pretty dark. It actually looks almost black in low light. Now I don't know if this is the regular formula of the polish or it's because it was older, but this was extremely thick. What I don't like about the H&M bottles is the fact that they don't close properly. It might have dried because it came in contact with the air, I don't really know. All I know is that it was impossible to apply and it bubbled like crazy when it dried. Here's a photo of it alone. 

This photo required massive editing to hide the bubbles. After it dried so bubbly, I was unable to wear this mani on its own. I considered removing it, but then I finally decided to do a common trick used to hide imperfections: layering. So I picked up my trusty bottle of INM Northern Lights hologram top coat in silver and added just one coat. The final effect was amazing, smooth and perfect. Plus this top coats has a very shiny finish, just like glass. 

These are light box pictures and they don't really show the holo effect. You can see the silver glitter on the teal base. 

A little blurriness shows some of the holo effect. I ended up loving this manicure. Been wearing it for two days and I only have tiny, unnoticeable tip wear. I'm not ready to remove it just yet. I must get some thinner soon because I already have a bunch of polishes that need it desperately. So what do you think about this mani? How do you solve the problem of thick polishes?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

100th post: a-england Tristam

Hello lovelies! This is it! I have posted 100 times on this blog! These 3 months have been so much fun and I really want to thank all my readers because I couldn't have done it alone. It's an honor for me to be part of such an awesome community and I'm glad I've met a lot of fabulous people trough this blogging experience. 

I wanted to celebrate my 100th post by posting something beautiful and what better polish than Tristam. It has been on my wishlist for so long and I couldn't resist ordering it a few weeks ago during the 20% sale. Of course my photos don't do it justice and of course I didn't have any sun while wearing it. I did my best and maybe I will revisit it later and take better pictures. 

a-england (aengland) Tristam, indoors, artificial light
Tristam is a gorgeous deep blue with a shimmer that gives it a scattered holographic effect. It's very hard to capture on camera, but so much more beautiful in person. I did 2 coats for opacity and drying time was very fast. It dried very shiny, but I did put a top coat on to make it last longer and dry even faster. 

The first two pictures were taken in my light box and you can see the holo effect is not visible at all. So I tried photographing in direct light to capture it. The next two pictures show the holo better. Please click to enlarge! 

I really love this polish and I'm so glad I got it. It reminds me of a starry sky and it's just so elegant. I think every blue lover should have a bottle of this (or two if it gets discontinued). So what do you think? 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Essie Smooth Sailing

Hello lovelies! It's already Thursday afternoon over here, so technically there's just one day left till the weekend. I can't wait! I also have something amazing to show you this weekend. But in the meantime I have another stunner today. Most of you might know this polish, as it came out in the summer collection from Essie. I'm sure you don't mind seeing it again though, so here it is! 

Essie Smooth Sailing, indoors, artificial light
This is not my first time wearing Smooth Sailing. I actually wore this last summer on my trip to Paris, so you can see how much I love it. It's a lovely cornflower blue with a very interesting shimmer, that almost looks like a fleck. To describe this shimmer is very hard. I would say that it's silver and it shoots different colors in bright light (like a holo). But to experience this you will need to see it in person. In the pictures it just looks like a silver shimmer, very lovely nonetheless. 

I'm sorry I only post artificial light pictures lately, but there's almost no sun these days. And even if there's sun at like 12-1 pm, I'm usually not home to take advantage and take some pictures. 

While applying this, I've noticed some issues with dragging and I had to be careful to avoid bald spots. Drying time was very fast though and wear time ok. I seem to get tip wear very early with every polish lately, so I'm not sure if I can comment on durability. I also don't know what I'm doing wrong (might be the top coat). 

I just love love love this polish and I can't believe I forgot to include it in my top 10 for 2011. Maybe it should have been a top 11. I would recommend this to everyone, but it's especially a must for the blue lovers (you won't regret it, trust me). I'm very pleased with the Essie colors this past year. There's at least one polish in every collection that makes me take my hat off to this brand. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Farmec 365

Hello my lovelies! I hope your week is going great so far. Mine is ok, as I've decided to take it easy for a little while and relax more. I want to show you another local polish today. I know most of you don't have access to these, but if Romanian bloggers don't showcase them, who will? There is no swatch of this polish on the whole web and I think it will be useful for those that want to get Farmec polishes to know what they're about.

Farmec 365, indoors, artificial light
This was a present from my sister and is not a shade I would normally get. I love it when people give you polishes that are out of your comfort zone and you end up discovering something great. Farmec 365 is a light purple polish with a frost/pearl finish. It sometimes looks pink, but in most lights it's a lilac color. The shimmer in this is to die for. It's so sparkly and fun and it's not one of those boring pearls our mothers used to wear. 

check out that shimmer! 
Application is pretty easy, although you will need 3 coats. I don't like this type of polishes to show VNL, so 2 wasn't enough. The formula on these is so perfect, that I really didn't mind that. It also dried very fast. Brush strokes are somewhat visible, but I think that is normal for this type of finish. I didn't find it disturbing at all. The photos are all without top coat. You can see that it dries really shiny. 

This manicure didn't last very long on me because I tried to do some stamping a few hours later and totally ruined it. From my experience, Farmec polishes wear very well, so there's nothing to worry about. I really like this and I'm sure I'm gonna wear it again. It's also a good color to use if you want a more neutral manicure, without it being boring at all. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Orly Snowcone and snowflakes

Hi everybody! It's a beautiful and sunny Saturday over here and last night we finally got proper snow! We didn't have snow for Christmas and it snowed like one time the whole winter, so this is the first time that everything got covered in the puffy white stuff. To celebrate this I'm showing you a snowy manicure today. 

In other news, I've been struggling with dry hands and cuticles for the whole week. I haven't been able to photograph manicures and that's why I've only worn polishes that I have previously shown you. Even now, I can't do any photos unless I put lotion on my hands first. And the moisture goes away in 10-15 minutes after that. If you have any suggestions on what I should do, please share, as lotions and hand creams just don't cut it anymore. I've also noticed that my nails are peeling and chipping more than usual, so I've reduced them to nubs again and I'm trying out a new base coat with vitamin A. Ok, enough blabber, let's get to the nails now!

As a base, I've used Orly Snowcone. This polish has been on my wishlist for a very long time and I finally got it last month from ebay. It's a gorgeous cornflower blue creme. It's pretty opaque, but the formula is still pretty streaky, so you will need 2 coats to get it even. It dries a little darker than in the bottle, but my shots aren't 100% accurate. Imagine the color being a little lighter and dustier than this. Here's some photos of it alone. 

I decided to stamp some snowflakes over it because it's the perfect base for such a mani. I've used the M59 plate from Born Pretty store for the flakes (these are similar to the ones on the Konad M59 plate). On the middle finger I stamped the snowman from the M37 plate available here (also similar to the one on Konad plate M12). The polish I've used for stamping is an unknown brand stamping polish from a local store. 

On my thumb, I stamped the other snowflake (the larger one) from the same M59 plate. Here's a photo from a weird angle that shows my thumb. 

I'm really pleased with how this turned out. What I've noticed with stamping manicures is that they are very hard to photograph. My camera always flips and doesn't want to focus properly, making some parts blurry. I hope I will learn how to photograph these better in the future. So what do you think about my mani? 

Friday, January 13, 2012

My first glitter sandwich

Hello loves! It's finally Friday! I've been crazy busy this week and now I'm very very tired. I'm looking forward to some relaxing days this week end (although I should study again). Today I want to show you a little experiment I did last week. I was very curious to see how this would look so I did a quick swatch of this mani on one hand. So here it is, my very first glitter sandwich!

A glitter sandwich is a manicure that uses jelly polish and glitter. It had a base of the jelly, then glitter and then another coat of the jelly, so that the glitter looks suspended in the jelly. This gives the mani a lot of dimension. For this I've used S-he Stylezone 399, OPI Gone Gonzo! and a top coat, of course. 

I usually don't like jelly polishes because they are too sheer for my taste. I do however have two blue jellies, just because I buy every blue I see and I ended up with those. This particular one is very sheer, but also has a horrible formula, making application a pain in the behind. It's thick and goopy and it bubbles if you put it on too thick. I used 2 coats as a base and then did a third coat after I put the glitter on. It didn't come out that great, as you can see that there are some spots where the glitter is still uncovered. Also the nail line is still visible in some shots. This also dries very dull, so top coat was very necessary. 

I am still on the fence about this mani. I didn't wear it properly to see what I really think about it. It was just a swatch that I removed after photographing. So I ask you to tell me what you think. I'm very open to suggestions because I do want to try this again in the future and I want to know what I did right and what I did wrong. Please comment! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Checkered nails

Hello my beauties! I have a new nail art today for you but I'm gonna keep it short and sweet because I don't have much time. These days were so busy! I will have a little more free time starting tomorrow and I still have some exciting stuff to show you this week. So here are my checkered nails! 

I've used my previous manicure of Golden Rose 202 as a base color. When I created this manicure, I had this particular post on ALU in mind. The colors aren't identical, but the idea pretty much is. I've used my trusty China Glaze First Mate for the blue squares. 

If you want to create this you can use this tutorial on Chloe's Nails. I didn't use this exact technique, I just cut squares of tape and stuck them diagonally on the nail, leaving just two empty squares that I've painted with the blue. Of course Erika's method is neater, but I'm not very patient. Mine didn't come out that perfect (and the pictures came out even worse). I still think they are ok considering it was pretty late in the evening when I did them. So that's it. Please tell me what you think in the comments section and I will talk to you all soon! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Golden Rose 202

Hi guys! It's Monday again and that makes me really sad. I've survived the first day of classes but now I have to start studying again. Before that I just wanted to quickly show you this polish by Golden Rose. It's not a shade I would normally buy, but I was surprised by how much I liked this polish and I was actually able to use it in some nice nail art (stay tuned cause I will show you in my next post). 

Golden Rose 202, indoors, artificial light
This is a very nice raspberry creme that came out a little more pink in the photos. Actually I don't know if I should call this pink or purple, I guess it's somewhere in between. I have compared it to my Barry M Bright Purple and it looks like a darker version of the GR. 

My experience with Golden Rose polishes has been mixed. This has a surprisingly good formula. It really glided on the nail, was opaque in 2 easy coats and required almost no cleanup. I could use a cliche and say that it practically applied itself. It also dried very fast to an awesome glossy finish. The pictures show two coats with top coat, but I assure you it was just as shiny without it. 

I only wore this for around two days so I can't comment on durability. All I can say is that it had almost no tip wear when I removed it. I was pleasantly surprised by this polish and actually liked how it looked on my nails.  I'm looking forward to trying other Golden Rose polishes and I hope their new line of magnetics will soon reach our stores! 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mermaid nails and a comparison

Hello my lovelies! I know it's winter where most of you live, but somewhere in the world it's summer! You might have noticed that I don't quite wear nail polish according to the season. So what better way to warm up this cold winter than some mermaid nails. 

I used my previous manicure of OPI Mermaid's Tears and did some sponging with China Glaze Atlantis on the tip. I first sponged a coat on the bottom 1/3 of the nail and then a second coat concentrating on the very tip of the nail to create a glitter gradient. 

I was dying to do this manicure because I knew I had the perfect glitter to do the tips. Atlantis is such a gorgeous multicolored glitter in an aqua base. And on top of all, it's holographic! 

I was also telling you yesterday that I needed to do a comparison between my minty greens. Eyeko Vintage is the one that seemed most similar to Mermaid's Tears, while Rimmel Peppermint was clearly a lot lighter. I've also painted on H&M Hunt me down, although it's an army green to bring out the dustiness in Mermaid's Tears. Please excuse my horrible cuticles in these photos, the cold has no mercy for my hands. All polishes are two coats, no top or base coat. 

So, as you can see, Mermaid's Tears is very different from Eyeko Vintage. Not only is it dustier and darker looking, but it also has a different texture. Eyeko Vintage is much more squishy and glossy, while Mermaid's Tears has a true creme finish. Here's a closer look. 

So now it's clear why I needed both of these. I'm not sure if everybody is as crazy as I am for these types of shades and needs them both, but Eyeko Vintage is discontinued and Mermaid's Tears was a limited edition. So if you want to get your hands on any of these you should probably run to Ebay and snag them while you can! 

Friday, January 6, 2012

OPI Mermaid's Tears - an affair to remember

Hello loves! Sorry for the sporadic posting lately, but the truth is I'm so depressed that the holidays are over that I'm not in the mood to do anything. I should study but every time I open a book I get distracted. I'm still doing my nails, maybe a little too much, so there will be plenty of posting once I stop being lazy and edit my pictures. Today's post is about OPI Mermaid's Tears. Brace yourselves because this is gonna be a long post! You are welcome to skip the little story if you find it boring. 

So as many of you know, this polish came out in the Pirates of the Caribbean collection this summer. I was immediately attracted to this color, but after seeing swatches on the internet, I decided not to get it because I have enough minty greens (especially Eyeko Vintage which I believed was pretty similar). In the following months I stalked it on Ebay and every time I went to the local Sephora, but I just couldn't bring myself to buy it. Finally, at the beginning of November, I decided to get Gone Gonzo! to wear for my birthday. I had a little extra money so I finally caved and wanted to order Mermaid's Tears too, but the seller I wanted to get them from didn't have it anymore. So I got it from another seller and payed a few bucks more for shipping just to have it. But a month passed and the polish didn't show up. This has never happened to me before, as I always get the package in about two weeks. I contacted the seller and explained the situation, stating that I didn't believe the polish would show up anymore. She immediately refunded my money and canceled the transaction. Finally, after more than one month, I received a notification in the mail. I had given up on ever owning this polish, because most of Ebay was sold out of it. To my surprise, I finally got my polish. I gave the money back and thanked the seller for the great communication and customer service. By that time, the holidays were upon us and another 2-3 weeks had to go by before I got to use it. 

OPI Mermaid's Tears, indoors, artificial light
The color of this polish is very hard to describe. It's somewhere between a minty green and a sea foam green creme. It has a certain dustiness that makes it unique. Compared to other minty greens it looks murkier. This quality is especially visible in lower light rather than bright light. It really makes you think of the ocean and exotic islands, a very pleasant feeling in the middle of winter. 

After all the fuss with this polish, I was really disappointed by the application. It is not very sheer, but very streaky and hard to even out. I had to do 3 coats and some streaks were still visible even after top coat. This wasn't the formula that I'm used to with OPI polishes. 

As a result of the 3 coat application, I had a chip on my first day of wear. This is one of the reasons I don't like polishes that are opaque in more than two coats. 3 coats is already too thick and chips quickly after it dries (that is, of course, a million years after you applied it). 

I still have to do a comparison between this and my other light greens. All in all, I'm glad I got this polish. The only thing is, after all the issues, I was hoping I would be wowed by the formula and application, so I was kinda disappointed. But I'm still in love with the color and I'm sure I'm gonna be wearing it a lot in the future.

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