Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Manicure #4

December 24:

So I wore my gingerbread/candy cane manicure for 5 days this week! What is up with me keeping my manicures on for a long time now? It could do with the fact that I was knitting up a storm this week, I finished a sweater and some leg warmers. So finally, when I was all done with my crafting, I pulled out the polish and sat down to paint. This manicure is so simple because I am planning to do a more intricate manicure today in preparation for tomorrow! My sister is now sporting presents on her nails so I think I might do something like that.

This was just two coats of China Glaze's "Peace On Earth" (I love the name!). This is an olive green/gold that reminds me of fancy Christmas decorations, anyone else? I could have used only one coat with this polish, another super pigmented formula from China Glaze's Christmas collection, but I did two because that seemed better. Since I figured I would keep this one on for only a day I topped it with Out The Door instead of Seche Vite and I was promptly reminded of why I love OTD so much! Great top coat!

That is all I have for right now, who knows though, I might sneak one more post in before Christmas. If not, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Manicure #3

December 20:

5 days till Christmas! Anyways, yesterday was Mr. Nailventuress's Family's annual gingerbread decorating party. This is one of those things that I have only been doing for 4 years but I already consider it a locked in Christmas tradition. I help his mom bake gingerbread houses sometime before the party and then the day of we decorate, snack, and have lots of fun!

The first year we did a viking long house, the second and third I did jazzed up gingerbread houses and this year I found a picture of a Thomas Kinkade cottage and made that!

It only made sense to do a mani that would compliment this party. I had been thinking about a
gingerbread mani for days and I finally decided to do this. I started off two coats of Sally Hansen's Xtreme Nails "White On", OPI's "20 Candles on My Cake" and Essie's "Going Incognito". Then I poured some 20COMC and GI on my makeshift palette and drew on the candy cane stripes.

For the little gingerbread men I mixed Essie's "Mink Muffs" with WO to get a more gingerbread colored polish and then with my Essence styling pen I drew on gingerbread men. This was easy enough on my left hand but of course it was a bit harder to do on my right. They all came out alright though. Lastly, I added gumdrops to the gingerbread men. On my left hand I have Essie's "St. Lucia Lilac" and China Glaze's "Lemon Fizz" and on my right I have Essie's "Lapis of Luxury" and "Van d'go".

Everything was topped with Seche Vite and then the day of the party I put on China Glaze's peppermint cuticle oil to make all my nails smell like candy.

Here is the picture I was basing my house off of...

And the actual house...

That's all for now! Any ideas for other Christmas manicures? I have 5 days, I have to fit in as many as I can..

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Manicure #2

December 18:

Seeing as it is one week before Christmas I figure it is the perfect time to post about my second Christmas manicure of the season. This one was inspired by a snowglobe...though I don't get that effect so much when I look at my nails. Instead it looks like it is snowing at night on my nails. Basically a fun holiday manicure!

I used two coats of China Glaze's "Little Drummer Boy" as the base. This polish was extremely pigmented and would have been fine in one coat but I used two jut in case. Unfortunately the formula in this one sucks. It was kind of thick, though not gloopy, and was just hard to work
with...hence the uneven edges at the cuticles.

To add a snowy effect I decided I would have to use a glitter on top of LDB. At first I was going to use SOPI's "Flurry Up!", which is a silver hexagonal and small round glitter top coat, but that was too much for this manicure so instead I pulled out Wet and Wild's "Hallucinate/Hallucination". I bought this polish thinking it would be a good white/silver glitter for topping on polish but I didn't realize how awesome this glitter in this was. It is a mix of dark and light blue glitter along with clear/white glitter and silver and gold glitter. None of this is visible in the bottle, instead it just looks like a milky looking polish. When I swatched it over LDB I fell in love! It is so gorgeous and over a dark blue looked like snow! I used one coat and it dried smooth.

To complete the look I used two Cina Snowman appliques. This was my first time using Cina products and I was very impressed. They were easy to use, laid a lot flatter than I thought they would, and lasted while I had them on. I just now noticed I am missing two stones, one on each snowman, but it is not noticeable. Instead of leaving a round indent there is the silver backing so it looking like they were designed like that.

Overall I am very happy with how this turned out! It is too bad that I chipped it a lot today while Christmas shopping/wrapping, but I am making gingerbread houses tomorrow so I figure I need a new manicure for that.

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Friday, December 17, 2010

More Nail Spam...

December 17:

I am back from vacation, hence the 5 day break from blogging, I needed time to adjust to getting back home. Doesn't mean I haven't been painting my nails. I have done four-ish manicures in the past few days so I will just post them all here for you to see and then tomorrow I will have Christmas manicure #2 for you.

First up was Essie's "St. Lucia Lilac". This color looked like it was going to be boring on the nail, but I had it on for about 5 days, which is unusually long for me. I got a lot of compliments and it lasted almost the entire time with little wear. The color itself looked great against my skin and didn't remind of easter eggs like I thought it might. This was three average coats and one coat of Seche Vite. I own a lot of light lavender/lilac polishes but this one might be my favorite. It is so light that I might consider it a mannequin hand color even though it is purple. (Gotta love "The Two Towers"!)

After that I had one Milani's "HD" which I scored on clearance at Meijer a few weeks ago. Thiscolor is from their Holo 3D polish line that I thought would be long gone. It applied mostly opaque in three coats though I had some visible nail line. The polish itself was easy to work with and it lasted without chipping for the 2 days I wore it. The holo effect of this polish is really neat. It looks more 3D than Color Club's "Fashion Addict". There seems to be two kinds of holo glitter/foil in this polish that gives it that neat effect. Also, for some reason the holo effect seemed to be more noticeable in low inside lighting. Outdoors it was just a pretty silver polish with some sparkle.

My "Back to Chicago" mani had to be Illamasqua, seeing as I bought so much of it in Puerto Rico. I had a hard time choosing between "Baptiste" and "Viridian", though eventually I decided on "Viridian". Unfortunately I had a wonky brush which made it harder to apply the polish with, but it was opaque in one coat. I did two just to be safe. When I got home I trimmed down the brush, it was really long, and now it is the same length as its siblings. Just like all of the Illamasqua's I have used, it is great, long lasting, and gorgeous. "Viridian" is a dark teal that fades to almost black on the edges. Lovely!

The next day I sorted through mail and saw I had received my bottle of Nubar's "Nubar 2010" that I had ordered while in Puerto Rico so I swatched it on one nail. Originally my intention was to take off "Viridian" and do a Christmas manicure. However, "Nubar 2010" looked so good on top of "Viridian" that I put it on all of my nails and wore it for the rest of the day. Doesn't it look neat? "Nubar 2010" is a clear base full of iridescent flakies. They change from red to green with some gold and occasionally some blue. This is a must have!

Well, now I finally have another Christmas manicure on my nails and I am very happy with it! I will have pictures tomorrow.

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

P.S. Here Is my current pedicure. Essie's "Lapis of Luxury". It was a surprise hit with me for a pedi color, I am still wearing it and it has not chipped once. No top coat, three coats.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sawan's Giveaway!

December 13:

So I usually just enter into blog giveaways once without posting on my blog but this one seemed too good to just enter once! And when I say too good, I mean it is EPIC.

Just look at it! You can enter here at Sawan's blog and the giveaway ends December 19th so hurry up.

Until next time,
Happy Painting!
The Nailventuress

Sunday, December 12, 2010

From the Archives: Color Club OPI Water Marble

December 12:

I have pictures of today's manicure but I thought it would be fun to post this manicure first.
I did this for the last day of finals as a fun kick off to winter break. The manicure started out as two coats of Color Club's "Fashion Addict", but I got a bit bored (I blame finals not the could a holo get boring?) and added some marbling. Basically an hour spent dipping my nails in water was better than spending it studying.

Color Club's "Fashion Addict" is such a pretty color purple. I love how it looks against my skin, actually the polish I have on now is the same shade of purple. It was easy to apply and took little effort to clean up.

When I went to marble it I used OPI's "Funky Dunkey" as the complimenting color. This color is so gorgeous! I bought it about two months ago and I've used it a lot with other polishes, though never on its own. I like to think of it as a bright electric purple, and I think "Ogre the Top Blue" is the blue counterpart to FD.

My sister had stamped Fashion Addict over Funky Dunkey a little while back so I took my inspiration from that. I dropped FD, then FA, then FD, then FA then FD, and lastly FA. Since I already had FA on my nails it provided enough base for the marbled FA to show up. It was still holographic after marbling!

I would do this manicure again in a heartbeat...though I also want to try it out with Color Club's "Revvvolution". Holo water marbling is so much fun!

Up next I will have for you pictures of my current manicure, Essie's "St. Lucia Lilac". I love this color so much on my nails that I have had it on since Thursday...that is four days, quite a stretch for me.

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On Vacation With: Nail Polish Spam

December 8:

I have been painting my nails too often for blogging so I figured the best way to catch up was to post them all at once. It has been nice painting my nails at the end of each day but I think this weekend I will stick with just one color...well, we will see how that goes.

First up is Illamasqua's Rampage. This is two average coats and one coat of Seche Vite on top. Lovely forest green jelly. I am so glad I picked this one up. The jelly finish was fun to look at and I loved seeing how the polish changed in different lighting. Probably the best part was realizing that dark green polishes look pretty good on me. As far as I can remember I have never had a solid dark green manicure, but I am sure this will not be the last!

Next is Hot Topic's Teal Glitter polish. I looked for a name but I don't think it has one. It took three coats to be opaque but the dry time was good and the color/sparkle pay off was worth it. This is small teal glitter that really pops on the nail and it dries almost smooth. Topped with one coat of Seche Vite. This polish really impressed me, I thought it would be terrible after the first coat and the bottle design looked awful (tiny tiny tiny cap!) but it was just the opposite. I am thinking of going back for the other glitters (Hot Topic has a buy one get one 1/2 sale). This glitter is a must try. It was easy to remove as well (I didn't even have a bunch of glitter all over my fingers either).

Last is Sephora by OPI's Worth My Weight. I bought this thinking it was Looks Like Rain, Dear, and when it rung up at $5 instead of $9 I was surprised. As it turns out, I like this one more. My cousin bought LLRD and I think both are very similar but WMW has more glitter. This was two coats and both were very chunky. I love the color and the glitter but I hate how chunky it looks on the nail. Apparently it is not that noticeable but I still found it annoying. I topped it with two coats of Seche Vite and it dried almost smooth (though not as smooth as the teal glitter from Hot Topic). Great gold polish for the holidays! I would wear it all year round, I love gold polish and holo glitter, this was a great combination.

Up next I might have more Illamasqua's for you, or perhaps a haul blog.

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Monday, December 6, 2010

On vacation with: China Glaze's "Shocking Pink"

December 6:

What better a way to celebrate a new layout then with a fun mani? After an hour or so of messing with Blogger this layout is what I came up with. I don't care too much for the background color but I like my header and the layout of the gadgets. When I get home I am hoping to get a picture up as the background.

Now for the mani. After I had taken off Illamasqua's Scarab I wanted to paint my nails with some polish I had brought with me. An internal debate followed and after a few minutes I came up with "Shocking Pink". This is a neon that I bought a while ago but I haven't tried until now. I wanted to do something fun and tropical seeing as in 9 days I will be back to full on winter.

Neon's are so much fun and I have not really worn them in the past, but I do own a few. Pink is definitely not one of my favorite colors but neon pink is a total exception. "Shocking Pink" is so in your face that the fact that it is pink seems to fade away.

This was three average coats and on my left had the color was perfect. On the right it was a bit streaky but I am sure I was the only one who noticed. Dry time was good, I could tell when the
polish was ready for the next coat after it matted. For some reason I have found that neon dry matte. (You can see what I am reading in this picture, yes I am a Lord of the Rings fanatic!)

The China Glaze bottle is one that I have seen used with other brands (Gelous Base Coat; Icing Nail Polish) but I like how it looks and it is easy to use. The Brush could be slightly larger, though it was easy enough to work with, and the wand is a good length for the bottle.

With a coat of Seche Vite on top I was ready to go...literally. This manicure was so clean after I applied it that I didn't even need to clean up.

Unfortunately, it was only on for a few short hours. I bought some new polishes that I wanted to try, and finally got my hands on Illamasqua's Rampage, so off it came. It was not a moment too soon though. While at the mall my nail polish chipped off in a large chunk on my right thumb. I could blame the polish but in this case I think it was from earlier in the day when I had to clip my nail to even out an edge. I am sure I will be wearing this polish again so we'll see how it holds up then.

Up next I will have a post about Illamasqua's Rampage. Let me just say that this polish is impossible to photograph. It is really one of those polishes you have to see in person, though it still looks absolutely gorgeous in the pictures.

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Checking back with Illamasqua's Scarab

December 6:

So I do not have Illamasqua's Scarab on my nails today, but I had it on up until yesterday so this is close enough. After wearing this polish for five days I am happy to report that it performed beautifully! There was barely any tip wear and I had only one small chip on my right ring finger.

The color stayed true the entire time, though the last night I had it on I put on bug-spray and got some on my nails so they got a bit tarnished, and looked as good as day 1. I was so impressed with this formula that I decided to go and grab not only "Rampage" but "Baptiste" as well as their base coat. Perhaps I might even buy "Phallic" if I get the chance.

I truly cannot believe I managed to go five days without painting my nails, but then again this color was so gorgeous.

Right now I am sporting Illamasqua's "Rampage" which I should be wearing for the next few days. I am testing the lasting strength of Illamasqua's base coat as well. So far on my left hand I have no chips but on my right I have three tiny ones. I think they are from my nail being weak at the tip and not actually the polish. I'll keep my right hand in mind, but for now I think I'll just see how the polish lasts on the left.

Up next, however, I have an in between manicure that I did yesterday while waiting to go to the mall. China Glaze's "Shocking Pink" of course! I don't think I have ever reviewed China Glaze before on here so I might do that as well.

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

P.S. How do you like the new layout? I am still playing around with it but this will do for now...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

First Chirstmas manicure!

December 4:

So I actually did this manicure during finals week to kick off the Christmas celebrations, but I haven't posted it until now. Good thing it is early December and not January when I am remembering it.

The reason why I am not posting another vacation manicure is that I still have on the Illamasqua Scarab mani. Can you believe it? I've lasted 5 days without one change to it, this is the beginning of a long and loving relationship. I am planning to get to Sephora sometime within the next few days and pick up a few new nail polishes, of course Illamasqua is on the list. From the feedback I got, I think Rampage is definitely one of them.

This manicure was pretty easy to do and looked great, though because of the glitter was a pain
to take off. I started off with two coats of Sally Hansen's Xtreme Wear Hard as Nails "White On". After that dried I did one thick coat of China Glaze's "Party Hearty". The end result was a Christmas party on my nails. Perfect for those final hours of studying, right?

Apparently I had not used SH's Xtreme Wear polishes in a while because I forgot how awful the formula is. It was so runny that even though I liked the brush, there was no way to control the polish with it. It looked like milk running all over the nail. Eventually I worked out a system but it was still messy. On a more positive note, it was opaque in two coats which for a white is pretty good, and the dry time was fair.

The China Glaze glitter was great. It was not terrible to work with, the base was not too thick or thin, it was overall a great polish. Just when it came to taking it off I had issues because all the glitter seemed to grab at the cotton ball. I know I could try the foil method of removal but my nails beg me not to.

Up next I think I shall do a short post about the Illamasqua Scarab mani. Sometime today I will take off the polish and put on a fresh one, but for now I am still loving this manicure!

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Thursday, December 2, 2010

On vacation with Illamasqua's Scarab

December 2:

Yay! It is December! Of course you could never tell by looking outside my window right now, but in 13 days when I step into Chicago I think December shall smack me in the face. Oh well.

Today's mani is actually what is on my nails right now. This is a polish that I picked up from the giant Sephora they have down here in Puerto Rico. At first I went in with the intention of picking up a SOPI polish since I have never tried one before. I ended up with SOPI's "Flurry Up!" from their winter collection, and supposedly it is a dupe for Deborah Lippmann's "Today was a Fairy Tale."

Than, after wandering around the store, I cam across the Illamasqua section. This had me squealing since I thought it was only available online. Immediately I grabbed Viridian, a color I had wanted for a long time, and then kept going back and forth on Scarab. Eventually I paid for Flurry Up! and Viridian, but I came back and bought Scarab figuring it was cheaper this way (no shipping costs if I wanted to order it online later).

I am so glad I bought both of the Art of Darkness colors! Scarab looks wonderful on my nails. I have not stopped looking at it since I painted my nails November 30. That is quite a long time for me to go without changing my polish, especially while on vacation! On top of that I have no major chips or fading of color, just a tiny tiny tiny on my right ring finger. It is so small it is barely worth mentioning.

At first I thought the brush might be tricky to handle since the cap is square, but my fingers found the right position and I had no issues. Also, this polish was a one coater! Yes, a one coater. I did two just because doing one coat felt weird, and with two coats the color popped even more.

When I had finished my manicure I was not too happy with the result. It was one of my sloppier manicures (not the nail polishes fault) and I should learn not to paint my nails in dark rooms. Anyways, as I woke up the next day and showered, the nail polish seemed to fix itself, so now I have one o my most perfect manicures and most of it was not my doing. The edges evened out, the cuticles look clean, the tips are flawless. Illamasqua has just shot up to the very top of my favorite nail polish brands and this is just my first time using it!

Needless to say I am going back to Sephora for Illamasqua's base coat and at least one more bottle of polish before I leave. Any suggestions? I am thinking Rampage, Baptiste or Phallic, but I am not sure just yet. I also think I am going to pick up 212-Sephora from SOPI.

Up next, I think I shall have more vacation manicures, unless I don't take this one off! Then it will be another archive mani. Let's see how long this manicure lasts.

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

(Here is Scarab next to Viridian)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

OPI's The Show Must Go On

November 30:

I am much to tired to think of a more creative title for this post. After getting only 30 minutes of sleep the night before followed by a day of travel I was throughly exhausted and found myself going to bed (after napping) at 730 Chicago time and sleeping for 11 hours! Instead of feeling like I was loosing 2 hours switching to Puerto Rico time, I feel like I have lost 7 and am in Europe.

This morning I feel much better, apparently so, I woke up at 630 Chicago time.

Now to the nails! I am not actually wearing this manicure right now but I was looking around in my archives and this seemed to be a very vacation-y looking color. What I am actually wearing is four coats of Essie's Turquoise and Caicos but that is coming off today.

So I am not a pink/red person, but I do love a duochrome, so when I saw swatches of this color
was unsure. I decided to buy it because it was a collection color and thought I might regret it down the road. In the end I loved it!

The color looks pink to me with a gold duochrome to it, but everyone else who has seen it claims it is red. Either way it works with the gold. TSMGO has a foil like finish in my opinion and just seems to reflect light like crazy which makes the polish really glow!

The application was good, I used three coats of polish to make everything perfect, and it was completely opaque. It lasted the three days that I wore it with only 1 small chip on the side and was fairly easy to take off afterwards. Overall, I love this color and this collection. There are only a few colors that I did not buy because they seemed to plain to me. TSMGO is definitely not plain. It is so much fun to have on and definitely pops.

Up next I think I shall have a picture of my vacation manicure, if not more archive photos!

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Going Barefoot in Barcelona with OPI

November 23:

Alas, finals are upon us yet again. This has meant multiple manicures to stave off the desire to study, because thats what all sensible students should do...right? The end results have been fun, such as the Harry Potter manicure, and cheerful, like the Christmas manicure I have yet to talk about. This manicure, however, seems to be the perfect polish for my cold finals fingers. Barefoot in Barcelona, how perfect.

The color itself is from a previous OPI fall line and even if the name does not evoke images of crisp colorful leaves and chilled days, the color is just the right shade of beige to make me think fall.

There is just enough pigmentation in the polish to make it stand out against my skin, though I feel I could still place this in the mannequin hands genre. It is a sleek, polished, elegant color that makes me feel fancy and put together and I tend to dress up a bit more when I wear it.

Even though this is a "fall" color, I think the fact that it is a neutral will keep me coming back to it during Winter, Spring and Summer.

The formula of this color was great, only requiring two coats to be perfect, and since it was such a close color to my skin tone, the little bits on my cuticles were not noticeable.

Perhaps the best part about this color that it makes even nubbins look a bit longer. The neutral color extends the finger instead of drawing attention to the short nails (something I hated when I trimmed mine down). That does not mean that it falls flat as a color, it is simply perfect.

Well, I am off to pretend to review some more...the next time you hear from me I will be on winter vacation!

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Harry Potter: The beginning of the end...

November 18 9:14 pm:

We are in the final hours before the first part of the last Harry Potter is released! I ordered my tickets a week ago, but I've been counting done since the 6th movie came out. Even though I had my lucky Blackhawks mani on I decided that I should do a Harry Potter mani to celebrate the release of the movie. I knit myself a Weasley sweater and a house scarf, I think I should have a matching mani as well.

The whole day today I was planning out how I would paint my nails an after brainstorming a few ideas I decided on this one. This might be on my nails for only a few days but I love it, and it is a great way for me to use a few different polishes in one mani!

To paint the house colors I applied the base color (whichever was the lighter of the two) and then on half my nail I applied the other color. Then on my thumb I applied a base color and drew on a "H" with bronze polish.

Hufflepuff (Pinkie): 3 coats Sinful Colors Lets Meet and 1 coat of Wet and Wild Black Creme

Slytherin (Ring): 2 coats Orly Shine and 2 coats Orly Enchanted Forest

Gryffindor (Middle): 2 coats OPI Glitzerland and 2 coats China Glaze Phat Santa

Ravenclaw (Pointer): 2 coats Orly Shine and 2 coats OPI Dating a Royal

Hogwarts (Thumb): 1 coat Wet and Wild Black Creme and NYC Bryant Park for the "H"

This was pretty fast to paint and I applied 1 coat of Seche Vite to quicken the drying time.

Now I just have 2 hours and 34 minutes left to wait until I get to watch the movie! Well I'm off to the magical world of Harry Potter...

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Here come the Hawks...

November 16:

So let's just say that I enjoy hockey quite a bit. In reality I am obsessed with it! My favorite team has been the Chicago Blackhawks since my friend invited me to a game for her birthday. It was exciting to watch the players in the Olympics but more importantly watch them win Lord Stanley's cup!

The Blackhawks are actually what got me into my nail polish obsession because I started painting my nails with their colors to support the team.

This manicure I did on Sunday after having my previous manicure on for only 12 hours or so
because the Blackhawks were on a losing-streak. I figured to try and change their luck I'd paint my nails. It worked! They won, in over time, with a goal from Stalberg!

Here is how I painted my nails. The two jersey's are Jack Skille #20 and Viktor Stalberg #25, both of whom scored this weekend! Lets go Hawks!

To paint the feathers:

Pinky: 1 coat NYC Tangerine Creme 1 Coat Sinful Colors Cloud Nine for the base. NYC French White Tip for the lines.

Ring: 3 coats Sinful Colors Lets Meet for the base. OPI Yoga-ta Get This Blue for the lines.

Middle: 3 coats Sinful Colors San Francisco for the base. Sinful Colors Lets Meet for the line.

Pointer: 2 coats NYC Madison Ave. (notice that I chose a red that is called Madison Ave. since the Blackhawks play at the UC on Madison Ave!) for the base. NYC French White Tip for the lines.


2 coats of OPI The Thrill of Brazil for the base. 2 coats NYC French White Tip for the white. 1 coat Wet and Wild Black Creme for the lines. NYC French White Tip for the number.

Viktor Stalberg on my right hand. (1 goal against Anaheim Ducks)

Jack Skille on my left hand. (2 goals against Nashville Predators)

And the players themselves:

Viktor Stalberg:

Jack Skille:

I have so much pride in my team, lets hope they do great on their road trip!

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Belated Birthday Manicure

November 14:

Wow, where has this month gone? My classes end next week!

My birthday was in October, but I have not gotten around to posting a picture of my manicure so I figured today was the perfect day to do so. With the help of new stamping plates I was able to come up with a manicure that I absolutely loved. Unfortunately it did not last very long on my nails seeing as I had a bunch of events the following week and wanted to do separate manicures for them.

I painted two coats of OPI's Obscurity from their Go Goth! collection. This is a black matte and I am in love with it. Too bad the bottle is so small or I would use it more. Then I used Orly's Shine (a silver foil) for the stamp and the end result looks like chain mail!

I like the look of OPI's mini bottles but I hate the brush. Funny since I don't care for their pro-wide brushes. Actually the mini brushes have made me like the wider ones more. And of course I have nothing bad to say about Orly's bottle, brush or the like.

Since the base color was a matte it chipped a lot easier than normal polish but since I wore this for only a day that was fine with me. However, this was kind of messy to remove. The matte seemed kind of chalky and got all over my fingers.

All in all, I would do this manicure again! I love everything about it. I just need to find a black matte polish to replace this small bottle.

Until next time,

Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Simmering and Shimmering with OPI's burlesque

November 9:

After days of searching in stores and calling Ulta repeatedly I finally got my hands on the 6 polishes from the Burlesque collection that I wanted. At first I bought only four--Tease-y Does It; Simmer and Shimmer; The Show Must Go On; and Show it and Glow it-- along with Parlez Vous OPI and Done Out in Deco but the woman at the register rung up all the polish as 2 for $10 instead of just the last two that I mentioned. Ulta had a sale on last chance OPI colors but when I realized I spent half as much as I had planned on I decided to grab the other two Burlesque colors I had been eyeing: Sparkle-icious and Glow Up Already.

This manicure today is of Simmer and Shimmer, the glitter that I wanted most from this collection. I had just painted my nails the day before with OPI's We'll Always Have Paris but that came off as soon as I got home with my haul.

Seeing as it was my first time working with OPI glitters I had a few things to learn. The polish itself applied great and was quite smooth for a glitter but I put three layers of Seche Vite on top to smooth it out and the next day all of my polish popped off. Yes, it literally popped off. So I decided to try something new.

Reading through some article and blogs online I remember someone mentioning that putting a layer of a gel base coat over glitter before you put on the top coat helped to smooth everything out without requiring tons of layers of top coat. To my delight it worked. So today I am rocking Glow Up Already on my nails and I'll have pictures for that up soon.

As you can see in the pictures here, this polish is amazing. I did not have anything like it in my stash and that is saying something. These OPI glitters are so unique and fun that I have considered going back for the other two that I did not buy, but I just don't care for those colors. The glitter in this polishes seem to be one color at a quick glance, such as blue green purple etc, but actually they are made up of tons of different color and sized glitter. The effect is amazing and they sparkle like no other. All I can say is that I am in love with these polishes. Thank you OPI.

So I'll definitely be rocking burlesque manicures for the next week or so, and it has been decided that my sister, mother and I will go see the movie Burlesque with OPI Burlesque manicures. I think after this manicure, I want to try out one of the shimmers from the collection.

Until next time,
Happy Painting

The Nailventuress

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Back in the day with my long nails

November 6:

Hello dearest friends. Today I have a picture of a manicure I did a few months ago. This was the last manicure I did when my nails were this long and the next time I squared them all off. This color is "Just a little Rosti at this" by OPI and it was one of the first polishes that I bought during my nail splurge. I did not own any reds and this one looked absolutely gorgeous so I went to Ulta and bought it. This is a berry red which seems to be bland for many people in the nail polish world but I loved it a lot. It applied well in two coats though I could have used a third and it lasted three days without chipping.

I used this color once more after I bought it but I think I will be pulling it out again soon, I have not done a red on my nails for some time now.

This was a quickie but I think that the next post will be longer. I am hoping to obtain some of OPI's Burlesque collection tomorrow so perhaps I can blog about that!

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Friday, November 5, 2010

Once upon a time a raven called Nevermore...

November 5:

After a week of illness it seems I am finally on the mend. I was so sick/exhausted that I did not paint my nails at all since my manicure on Monday (this is the longest I've gone in months) and I bought a bunch of new polishes. It was awful.

This manicure, however, is from a week ago when I went to a concert to see Seattle progressive metallers Nevermore. I decided it would be a wonderful idea to paint my nails with OPI's
"Nevermore" from their Go Goth collection seeing as the band and the polish had the same name. The novelty of it was too much so I hunted down the collection and bought my polishes! In the end I also bought OPI ink which is a dupe for Nevermore (a mini) so I could have just used that but I wasn't going to see OPI Ink perform, I was going to see Nevermore.

This color ended up being even better than I thought it would. It was definitely a purple with a bit of blue/black but Nevermore (the band) has a song called "Dreaming Neon Black" (my favorite) so I walked around calling it neon black. Silly, yes, but so much fun!

I like the OPI minis because the are cute and let me test out a color to see if I like it before I commit to the bigger bottle, if there is one, but the brushes are downsized and something about the formula is different. For some reason every mini that I have used has chipped a lot earlier than the OPI polish in the full sized bottles. I used Obscurity (the black matte) and that chipped the same day but I let it pass seeing as it was a matte. Sanguine chipped within a day and so did Nevermore, but I love the colors and the cute bottles so I can ignore this. Plus I got dupes for Nevermore and Sanguine already. All I need to do is find a black matte polish that I love as much as Obscurity.

The little brush in the minis was something that I thought would be a nice change but I ended up hating it. It was hard to get enough polish and I had to double or triple dip and then the polish on the nail started to dry and the manicure was uneven. I am surprised to say that I like OPI's wider brushes better. Oh well, since Halloween has come and gone, I think the minis will be used less frequently, well from this collection anyways, I got some for my birthday that I have yet to try out.

Up next I think a trip back in time to the days when my nails were much longer and stronger is in order. Perhaps the OPI polish that spurred me on my nail polish binge, or maybe just a fun manicure from my knitting collection.

Until next time,
Happy Painting

The Nailventuress

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A delicious "Mint Candy Apple" treat!

November 4:

Yes I am blogging once more hurrah! This is my third post in a few hours so I am quite proud of myself! I think that my blogs may get a titch shorter as I've reviewed many of the brands of polish before, but each color is a new adventure, so that shall not change!

Speaking of colors, I finally decided to splurge and get Essie's "Mint Candy Apple." Oh my goodness this is such a fun color. At first I had shied away from this color because it seemed too pastel for my taste but after looking at many many swatches, I decided it was a color I needed to add to my collection. I was even more delighted when I swatched it on my nail and the color came out slightly darker than in the bottle, and with three coats it was perfect!!!

I recieved some wonderful stamp plates for my birthday so I decided to use those and chose a flower-like design to add onto the ring fingers. At first they were stamped on with Essie's Lapis of Luxury but this color did not have enough contrast to the base color so I grabbed the bottle nearest me and tried it out. That just happened to be OPI's "Ogre the top Blue." It was the perfect addition to the manicure and the blue design made the mint green seem more blue!

This one is definitely one to keep in a nail polish stash because it is very different and fun. After a whole month of dark colors with the occasional bright manicure, I felt like I needed something different and Essie did not fail. Seeing as this was a previous winter collection color, I figured it was the perfect time of year to wear it since all of the new winter collections came out around November 1 anyways!

That is all for now on this manicure, but I think the next post shall be about my past manicure that I've done to try and do a quick catch up. Perhaps this post shall just be a short description and a pictures of a few manicures. Whatever it is shall be fun!

Until next time,
Happy Painting.

The Nailventuress

N.Y.C. and the belated Halloween manicure...

November 3:

This is a short post on my halloween manicure. This was fun and the nail polish I used with rather inexpensive, coming in at a whopping .99 yet it lasted the three days I had it on without chipping!

I used N.Y.C.'s "Times Square Tangerine Creme" which applied opaque in two coats. I loved the color so much I would break it out again for accents, stamps, and summer manicures, but I think that it might have seen its first and only use for 2010. On top of the orange I painted two layers of Sally Girl's "U Glow" to make it more festive. This polish is also .99 but it comes in a tiny bottle. On the plus side, it is incredibly glowy. The bottle starts to glow in shade and the nails polish definitely glows in the dark!

To top it all off I added some bundle monster stamps. I used the bats on my ring fingers and spiders and spider webs on my thumbs. I think the plate is bm13. Originally I was going to stamp with Wet and Wild's Black Creme but for such a thick polish it was not transferring to the stamp at all so I ditched it in place of OPI's "William Tell me about OPI" I ended up loving the purple on top of the orange quite a bit!

Overall I am happy with the cheap nail polishes and of course with OPI. The NYC and Sally Girl applied well and they lasted which is great considering they are not salon quality polishes.

Well that's it for this manicure but up next I think I shall sail back to Essie to taste "Mint Candy Apple." This is my first actual manicure for November and it is a fun break from the darker shades I had been sporting in October.

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

OPI's "Cuckoo for this Color"

November 3:

Yes, it has been a while since I have last posted, ah how time flies at the end of October. I promise many exciting manicures to be posted tonight to try and catch up. Perhaps since I've talked about Essie and OPI so much already, I'll just review the color :)

As for why I have been absent, a hockey game, birthday, knitting and midterms are to blame, but now I am back and oh how I've missed writing about my nail polish adventures!

Today I have an entry about OPI's "Cuckoo for this Color". This is a color that got a lot of hype online but wasn't exactly something that I would have tried on my own. For one it is a shimmer, and at the time that I saw it I was going through a Anti-Shimmer phase. I have since made up with shimmers, having realized that it was really frosty polishes that I hated.

CFTC is a really gorgeous blue based green with amazing shimmer to it. Even after seeing it multiple times in the store I was not convinced but decided to buy it anyways since it was on sale and as it turns out I was pleasantly surprised!

This color was so jewel toned that it really popped on my nails although it was a darker shade. Also it seemed to change between blue and green. I found this color to be very unique. I dont really have any jewel tones in my collection, though I have added some recently now that I think about it. This picture is sloppy and from a skittle swatch I did right after I bought the color, but it really shows how gorgeous the color is!

This next pictures shows the polish in the sun and it is still just as gorgeous. Sadly this manicure only stayed on for a day because I went out and bought Orly's "Space Cadet" and it begged me to paint it on my nails.
Over all I love love love this color. I have painted it on my toes since the manicure, and with a layer of China Glaze's "Fairy Dust" on top it seemed like a whole new yet still lovely color. I can totally see this being one of my winter shades as well because it reminds me of pine trees! Perhaps with China Glaze's Peppermint Cuticle Oil on top I can have a very Christmas smelling manicure. Yes, it is only three days into November and already I am excited for Christmas. Blame the beauty shops for having the holiday collections out...and gingersnap scented lotion!

Up next I will steal a bargain with a belated halloween manicure and N.Y.C.'s "Times square tangerine creme" and some stamps!

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Friday, October 15, 2010

Orly and the Space Cadet

October 15:

Alas, it has been a full week since I last graced this little project of mine, but it is for a very good reason, I promise! Through my travels of the exciting world of College, my former laptop has been my constant companion, but as I entered into my third year, I figured it was time for a new laptop. Today as new laptop day, and after spending a few hours playing around with it, I am satiated enough to write my first blog with my new computer!

Onto the nails!

This week I have ventured into uncharted least for me. Orly is a nail product brand that I know of but have not really used anything from before. I own only two Orly polishes and one top coat, so as far as my collection goes, that is nothing, but so far I am impressed.

The color seen here is called Space Cadet and it is from their Cosmos FX collection (I think it is the fall 2010 collection as well). Anyways, I literally had to hunt this one down! First, I
went to one Sally's Beauty, then an Ulta, then another Sally's where I was lucky to find one bottle of it left. I was fully pr
epared to go to more shops for it because I think this nail polish is so different from anything I own and I needed to get it! (Side note: Every Sally's I went to carried this line, and two out of three Ulta's have it so you have some options).

When it comes time to catalogue the color, I run into issues. It is an obvious and true duochrome with the two colors being rosy purple pink and gold yellow green but it has a teal base. So should I put it as a blue with foil shimmer? What about a purple or a green or a yellow or a pink? There are just too many options and I love that! Eventually I decided it was a purple and so a purple it shall stay.

I tried to take a picture that represented how different this
polish can get on the nail but it is too hard to truly capture this color on camera.

The formula was pretty good in my opinion. It was not too thick nor too runny, and it was good in three coats. The finish was very foil-like and I used two coats of top coat to make it shiny but it dried smooth. Removal took a little extra effort, but now where near as much as a glitter would. I think the removal was like taking off Sally Hansen's HD nail polish. Also, the polish lasted for a good amount of time for me. I kept it on only 3.5 days, but it didnt chip in that time so that was a plus!

Now to Orly's brush and bottle. Can I just begin by saying I love Orly's bottle design! The rubber cap is pure genius for the home manicurist! It feels so secure in my hand and it is shaped just so that it fits comfortably between my fingers! The brush was a little bit bigger than Essie's but no where close to OPI's and for my nail length and width it was perfect.

Over all, I am impressed with Orly's product and I think I shall purchase from them again. The brush, bottle and formula were great and the polish was completely unique and long lasting!

Next I think a visit with OPI is in store, for I simply can not get enough of the Swiss Collection. That means another trip to the Alps...but who could complain about that? This time I am looking to find the gem of a color that is called "Cuckoo for this Color".

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Friday, October 8, 2010

I happened upon an Ogre

October 8:

Ah yes, it would seem that after traveling for a short while I would be due to encounter some silly creatures. But an Ogre, it is weird enough to write the word let alone behold the fellow (by which I mean Shrek!), this was a change! Twas a short trip from Essie over to Far Far Away, ruled by OPI, where I found "Who the Shrek are you?" from the Shrek collection waiting to be painted on my nails.

This was quite an adventure for me, seeing as the previous weeks had be full of fall colors, yet it was just what I needed to mix things up!

Of course, I love OPI's formula, which is usually a good consistency and is opaque in two coats. However, this polish was a bit more runny, like Essie's, without being as pigmented as Essie so I ended up painting three coats of polish and could have used a fourth to touch up. I hate using more than three coats, and even three is pushing it, but the end result is worth it. Luckily the dry time isnt bad either, I'd call it average for OPI, which is still good!

Luckily this odd Shrek colored green looks good on me, because this could have ended up as a major disaster! Instead, it looked like someone had liquified Shrek and mass marketed him, and I'm not complaining!

After having talked about OPI for a few posts, I just have to say that I think their brushes are a bit too big for me. I have smaller nails...I think, which means that no matter how careful I am, I always get polish on my cuticles. I find that Orly's and Essie's brushes are a lot better for my nail shape.

This color has given me the courage to try another one of Shrek's collection, that being "What's with the Cattitude". Hopefully we will be seeing that one on my nails in the near future, perhaps I'll even go back for "Rumple's Wiggin". Writing all of these names is so much fun!

Next, however, I am making a trip to the final frontier...yes I mean space. I plan to seek out Orly's "Space Cadet" for a nail expirience unlike any other.

Until next time,
Happy Painting.

The Nailventuress

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cozying up with Essie's Angora Cardi

October 5:

Hello again! This morning I woke up to quite a chill, so I decided what is the best way to deal with cold weather is to throw on an angora cardi. Sadly I don't have one of those lying around, but I decided a trip over to Essie to paint on "Angora Cardi" was the next best thing.

How many times have I praised Essie's formula? Well however many it was, it wasnt enough! This time I decided to go out on a limb and leave the nail polish without a top coat. Let me repeat that... NO TOP COAT! This is the most outlandish thing I could have done when it comes to painting my nails, and yet I did it! This travels seemed to have made me more keen to trying new things.

Anyways, this was a two-coater for me, and that shine is au natural. This was such a beautiful purple dusty pinky mauve that it was absolutely perfect for the cold Autumn weather that has been greeting me in the mornings!

After three days of having this polish on, I found that it had started to wear a bit at the tips of my nails, but besides that, it was still shiny and had kept its color!

To my complete surprise, my nails were rock hard within five minutes of applying the second coat, and I'm not just saying that either! I received a visit from my mother, such a treat on these travels of mine, and with she had brought bagels. Mind you bagels are wonderful to munch on while relaxing on a Sunday morning, but they are a fresh manicures worst nightmare! All the hard toasted bread and garlic and poppy seeds, it was making me nervous. To solve the nerves, I simply polished off my bagel, then looked at my shiny new manicure and was pleased to find it was still shiny and new without a single dent in it!

The conclusion of my mini Essie! Essie is long lasting, shiny, fast drying pigmented polish that looks great on the nail.

Oh and the clean up is a dream, for one who travels such as I do. I used one cotton ball, only one, to clean up all ten of my fingers. Tis such a small thing, but when supplies are crucial, these things make for one very happy nailventuress.

Well, my many travels to Essie have left me quite satisfied, and I'm sure I'll be back before long. Now, however, as I look over my map, I am reminded of times that happened in a land called "Far Far Away." Ah yes, it is to the kingdom where Shrek and Fiona rule that I seek out next. This time I am looking to brighten up these cold mornings with a fun green known as "Who the Shrek are you?" It shall be quite exciting!

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Revlon helps welcome Autumn

October 3:

Good Morrow dear friends. It is quite early (or late) in the morning here, yet I find myself writing this post. As promised, I journeyed to Revlon to keep my appointment with a color called "Iced Spice." Seeing as Autumn began to make an appearance around here, I decided an orange upon my nails was the perfect way to welcome it in.

As you can see in the first picture, the orange I chose is a lot more copper than orange, almost like a shiny new penny combined with pumpkin pie, but I LOVE it! The only thing I would change about this polish is I would make it scented. I have a thing for Revlon scented polish and with a name like "Iced Spice" I would have loved a smell to accompany it, but alas, twas chemicals that met my nose.

But on to the details... The brush is long and thin, which is fine by me, though I found that sometimes it did not pick up enough polish and I had to "double-dip." This usually isn't an issue for me, but for some reason with the Revlon polishes, when I double-dip, the nails polish gets really bumpy on the nails and it doesn't dry flat like Essie.

The formula is good, I think the wear is great for the price and it takes only 2-3 coats depending on how thick your coats are. The dry time for this polish is pretty good... well, yes and no. It dries fast enough, but I've found with Revlon polishes that you really need to take the time and wait in between coats or else bubbles are bound to pop up. And we all known what I think about bubbles!

After two days, I got antsy and decided to apply a "matte" top coat that I had purchased a few days before. This time I used Orly's "Matte" top coat but I call it "matte" because in reality it is a suede/satin finish. It turned my nails even more coppery then they were before like a goldfish but once again I LOVE it! The suede/satin finish looks great with this color, and it is such a great color for Autumn that I'm sure we will see this one back on my nails in the near future.

Overall, I love Revlon's polishes even though I always have a few bubbles pop up. The brush is the only thing that I would change, because I don't think it picks up enough polish when I dip it into the bottle.

Up next I think I shall revisit my dear friend Essie and cuddle up with "Angora Cardi"! This color is guaranteed to be a fall favorite of mine.

Until next time,
Happy Painting.

The Nailventuress

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chips in Italy...

September 27:

Hello dearest friends! In my home town it is quite cold, but alas, I am far far away enjoying the warm breeze of northern Italy where I have come to keep my date with Borghese. This polish has eluded me for the longest time, mostly because I had not the income nor reason to condone the purchase of a drugstore for $8. While this lowly college student has no issue with paying the same amount for Essie or OPI, it seemed...well quite ludicrous to spend so much on something she wasn't even sure would whet her palette. However, whilst on a trip to the nearby Ulta, a store so glorious that it brings delight to all who enter, I happened upon this Borghese nail polish once more. This time, it happened to sport a smart red sticker which pronounced to the world that not only was it on clearance, but it was also B2GO!

Of course I took the bait and bought three bottles of Borghese products, feeling like this was a sure sign of good times to be my dismay there were a few...chips along the way.

But before I get to that, I must speak of the official business! Like I said, I purchased three bottles of Borghese product, however, only two bottles were nail polish and one was a wonderful top coat (another story for another time). The first color that caught my attention is the one that you see here, painted (messily yet again) upon my nails and it goes by the name "Stellare Notte".

This picture is before I put on top coat, but after I had applied three coats of polish. Yes, to my dismay, this dark charcoal gray needed three coats. The formula was not as pigmented as I would have hoped, and the amazing blast of color that is given off by the bottle was lost somewhat as well. This was the most heartbreaking seeing as I had fallen in love with the duo-chrome! There were three visible colors, blue, purple and green, but upon the nail only the blue and purple showed up which meant most of the time my nail just looked charcoal.

The brush was in all honesty HUGE! It required one-two strokes at the most but left my cuticles painted as well. This size of brush works well for the top coat to get quick even coverage, but I did not like it as much when used for applying polish.

The dry time was fair, taking about four minutes in between each coat to start to feel dry to the touch. Then I waited a few minutes and applied top coat and drip dry drops.

After this manicure was completed, I let the polish cure before going to sleep. The next day I awoke with a large chip on my left middle finger. This was very disappointing seeing as I had not done anything that would induce chipping. Since this was a very special manicure, one that was painted for Mr. Nailventuress and my anniversary, I did a quick fix with a dab of polish and a spritz of hair spray before running off for morning classes.

The nail polish had worn when I returned later that evening, so off it came only to be replaced with a fresh manicure! Overall I was disappointed with this polish, but since I purchased it on clearance and I'm stuck with it...well I suppose I'll have to deal.

Oh! I'll just say that the top coat from Borghese works wonders for a manicure, so perhaps it was just this polish. Well seeing as I have one more to try out before I close the case on this brand, I wont complain about it anymore for now.

Next I have planned a trip to the plains of Revlon where I hope to enjoy the delights of an orange polish that is simply perfect for Autumn!

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Essie and the bubble mishap

September 23:

With a quick hop, skip and a jump back over the seas, I found myself once more in the land of Essie. And yes, you read the date correctly. Here I am writing to you yet again, however, I fear I must warn you of the dangers that lie ahead...

Every so often, in my travels, I get over excited and...jump ship so to say. When applying Essie's "Matte About You," this is something I would warn against! Take your time when letting that lovely manicure dry, don't rush into the matte top coat or you will be faced with bubbles. Lots and lots of bubbles!

The manicure started off just like any other, I applied the base coat (a ridge filler in this case to help balance out the sheerness of the polish) and then followed with the polish itself.

As I've said before, I love Essie's formula. It dries quickly, has a great finish, and it cleans up rather nicely, but I hate putting on more than three coats of nail polish and this one, which is called "Turquoise and Caicos", required four. Yes four!

Since the coats dried fast enough I managed, but alas, when I thought my nails were dry enough I applied the top coat and then BUBBLES! Apparently waiting three or so minutes wasn't enough, so when I tried out the top coat the next day I made sure to wait till the polish was completely dry.

The matte top coat itself was wonderful. It is easy to apply and the brush is very nice, just like the other Essie brushes, though I swear this one may be slightly larger. The formula is thicked than the Essie nail polishes, but not by much, and it dries very fast so be quick when applying!

I think that it is the rapid dry time that produces the bubbles...or the fact that the polish wasnt dry enough. Oh well, shall I ever know? At least it was not an issue with the top coat itself, that would have been truly disappointing!

And so I leave you with the horrible bubbles documented in the picture below. I vow to never have this issue again...though it may very well happen when I encounter new nail polishes.

Speaking of, methinks it time for a journey to the Italian countryside. Here I hope to find the department store turned drug store polishes that go by the name "Borghese".

Until then,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress