Thursday, March 29, 2012

Layla Hologram Effect Flash Black

Hi guys. So today I have for you the most amazing holo polish in existence. Yes, I think it beats out Chanel Holographic. I present to you Layla Flash Black.

I'm not going to blather on about how amazing this is because you will be able to see that for yourself. Flash Black is a dark charcoal holo with an easy-to-apply formula. These pictures are 2 coats of Flash Black on top of a coat of Jessica aqua base. Layla holos are available on and at Ulta now as well. If you ever only have one holo in your collection, make it this one. You won't be disappointed.

Here she is, the baddest bitch in the holo world, Layla Flash Black. Don't forget to click the pictures to enlarge. Enjoy!

What do you think? Does it live up to the hype? 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pink Wednesday - Make Up Store Britta

Happy Wednesday everyone! And a very happy birthday to my amazing and wonderful husband Rémy today as well!!!

Today I have for you one of the most awesome holos in my collection, Make Up Store Britta. Britta was sent to me by my lovely friend Radha in Singapore, thanks so much for this gem girl <3 Make Up Store is a company that has stores all over the world, but I believe there is only one in the US so these polishes are a bit hard to come by. I know the store in Denver will take phone orders, or if you are lucky enough to live in a country where there are several stores you can probably access these polishes more easily than the rest of us.

Britta is an amazing pink holo. Make Up Store holos have your typical holo formula - they require an aqua base, they dry matte and they chip pretty quickly. But these kinds of holos tend to give the best holo effect out of any polish so I am more than willing to deal with these issues. The following pics are two coats of Britta on top of one coat of the Jessica Hologram Chic aqua base and no top coat. Enjoy!

What do you think? Are you a fan of holographic polishes? Which are your favorite holos?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Kleancolor Metallic Aqua

Happy Monday everyone!! Just wanted to pop in with some quick swatches today. If you have been following my blog for awhile, you know that I have a slight obsession with Kleancolor Metallic polishes. I have swatched about half of the ones that I have so far and I wanted to do another one today. Today's color is Metallic Aqua, an amazing metallic aqua polish.

The swatches below are 2 coats with topcoat. The use of topcoat really seems to make these polishes come alive, it's hard to explain unless you've seen it for yourself. Topcoat will deepen the color and on some, make the color appear even more metallic. So cool! These polishes are available on Beauty Joint for $1.75 a piece so they are some of the least expensive polishes that I own. They're great for stamping as well!

Here's a quick pros and cons list regarding Kleancolor Metallics-

- Take forever to dry, even with a quick dry top coat
- Due to the metallic finish, they will show every flaw on your nail
- Stain the CRAP out of your nails and surrounding skin, even with multiple layers of base coat (UPDATED TO ADD: Just removed Metallic Aqua, it did not stain at all!)

- Dirt cheap

I don't know about you, but I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons here =) So here's 2 coats of Kleancolor Metallic Aqua, in various lighting situations. Don't forget to click to enlarge =)

What do you think? Do you own any Kleancolor Metallics?
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Retro Sunday Squared with Polished Claws Up - Maybelline Glitters

Hi my lovely readers! I'm so excited about today's post, the first edition of Retro Sunday Squared with the lovely Dana over at Polished Claws Up! Dana and I met at a Cleveland nail bloggers meetup back in September and discovered that we are pretty much nail polish twins - we have the exact same taste in polish and always have amazing luck dusty hunting together. Since Dana and I both share an insatiable love for vintage polishes, we decided to team up every week and show you all some of the retro gems in our collections! This week, we decided to share with you some vintage Maybelline glitters, so I hope you all check out Dana's post as well to see what she has in store for you all today!

First up is Brilliant Amethyst from the Wet Shine Diamonds and Gems collection. I don't have an exact release date for this polish, but I believe it was somewhere between 2002 and 2005. Anyways, Brilliant Amethyst is an AWESOME pinky-lavender foil packed packed with tons of holo glitter! I did two coats here, the polish was a bit runny so I had to be careful not to flood my cuticles but otherwise the formula was great! One thin coat of Seche Vite smoothed out the glitter and there was no grittiness to the touch. I really love this one!! Since amethyst is my birthstone (and also happens to be in my engagement ring), I'm always a sucker for any polish with "amethyst" in the name =)

Next up is one of my most favorite reds in my entire collection - Cherry Carats! It is from the Wet Shine Diamonds collection, which I believe was released in 2003. Cherry Carats is an AMAZING cherry red jelly packed with pink microglitter. Upon my first cursory glance CC, I figured that the microglitter in it was just your standard silver, but it actually is this amazing pink glitter that shines through the jelly finish of this polish. IT IS SO AWESOME YOU GUYS! This was two super easy coats, and was a bit thicker than Brilliant Amethyst so I had no worries about flooding cuticles. I wish all polishes could have the same formula as Cherry Carats! I swatched this one second so I could do a full manicure with it and stare and my nails all day. Anyways, make sure to enlarge to pics to check out that pink glitter!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed the first edition of Retro Sunday Squared! Don't forget to check out Polished Claws Up! as well!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Let's Talk About: Vintage Nail Polish!

Hi everyone, hope your weekend is off to a fabulous start! I wanted to do this post today because I am an avid vintage nail polish collector. I know there are many ladies out there like myself who crave the retro polishes, but I think a lot of people are unsure of why old polishes have so much appeal and wonder if they are safe to use. When I tell my real-life friends and family about my obsession with vintage polish, I often get blank stares or even looks of "WTF," and pondering of why I would want old, crusty polishes. So today I have compiled a list of FAQ about vintage polish, so that perhaps one day when you stumble across an old, dried up nail polish from your childhood, you won't be so quick to toss it out!

Why would you want an old bottle of nail polish when there is so much new and exciting polish on the market today?
The answer to this question will always be different for everyone, but a lot of why I collect vintage polish is for the nostalgia. I have always been a beauty products connoisseur, so even back when I was barely old enough to paint my own nails, I had a nail polish collection. In elementary school, I had tons of Cover Girl Nail Slicks and Sally Hansen Hard as Nails polishes. When I got a bit older, the nail polish industry hit big time with edgy brands like Hard Candy, Urban Decay and Revlon Streetwear.  Sadly, I got rid of all these polishes over the years and upon re-discovering my love for polish, I wanted to find some of my beloved shades again. And so began my obsession with vintage polish. Well, that and I stumbled across Pretty Random, an amazing blog by Kaz. She has the most epic vintage polish collection I have ever seen!

Doesn't the polish go bad?
The short answer to this is NO. Nail polish (especially old polishes) contain so many chemicals that it is extremely unlikely, if not nearly impossible, for the polish to ever grow mold or bacteria. Out of all the vintage polishes that I own (and I have TONS) I have never experienced anything of the sort. There is an article floating around the interwebs that recommends you to throw out polish after one year, which is absolutely utterly absurd. The worst thing I have experienced with a vintage polish is that was completely dried up - and that brings me to my next point...

Isn't old polish all dried up and unusable anyways?
A lot of times a polish will dry up over the years. This is where POLISH THINNER comes into play. Thinner is probably my number one favorite nail polish related product, and I have gone through several bottles of the stuff since my vintage polish collecting has started. It is magical juice. I have had several completely dried up bottles of polish that I have saved by using thinner. And by completely dried up, I mean there was not one single drop of liquid in the bottle, just dried up pigment stuck to the sides and clumped at the bottom of the bottle. Scrangie has an amazing tutorial about how to revive dried up polish, definitely check it out!

Thinner? You mean nail polish remover, right?
NO! Nail polish remover is meant to remove pigment from your nails and if added to a bottle of nail polish will break down the pigment and chemical bonds and ruin the polish. Nail polish thinner is specifically formulated to be added to a bottle of polish to restore the chemicals that have evaporated. I usually use Seche Restore for old polishes because it contains toulene, one of the big-3 chemicals that most old polishes have. Besides Seche, OPI, Orly, and Beauty Secrets brand found at Sally Beauty Supply all have nail polish thinner. Get yourself a bottle. You won't regret it.

Aren't the chemicals found in old polish unsafe?
This is definitely a topic that each person has to decide for themselves, so I will keep it short for you all here. The majority of old polishes contain the so called "big 3" chemicals, which are formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and toulene. These chemicals have been touted as the "toxic" ingredients in nail polish, and many companies have removed these chemicals from their products in recent years. However, the exposure to these chemicals that we get from nail polish may not be nearly as harmful as one may think. We are all exposed to many so-called "toxic" chemicals in our day-to-day lives, whether it be cleaning products or pesticides on our food. It is up to you to decide how you want to limit your exposure to these type of chemicals. Personally, I have never had any adverse reactions to vintage polish that contains these chemicals, but I don't wear it all the time, either. As in anything in life, I think moderation is key. For more info, check out All Lacquered Up's post about The Big 3.

When you say 'vintage,' how old are you talking? Is there ever a point where a polish is just too old?
When I talk about "vintage nail polish," generally I am talking about nail polish that is older than 5 years old. I have several bottles of nail polish that were made in the late 80's and are probably just about as old as I am. And you know what? They are still absolutely gorgeous and unique colors that I will continue using until I have used every last drop. So the fact that I have bottles of polish that are nearing 30 years of age and are still absolutely perfect goes to show the longevity a polish can have. I probably would not use a polishes from the 40's, 50's, 60's or even 70's, but I see them on eBay all the time, and a lot of times they look like they would be good as new with a bit of thinner and a good shake.

The moral of the story today folks is: DON'T TOSS OUT OLD POLISH! Forget about what you read in poorly researched magazine articles that tell you to throw out polishes after a year! Get yourself a bottle of thinner and have at it. There are so many vintage gems out there, so don't be afraid to dig out your old polishes and try them out!

So I want to hear your thoughts on this! Do you own any vintage polish? Have you ever revived a completely dried up polish with thinner? Do tell!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hunger Games Midnight Premiere Day featuring China Glaze Agro

Happy Thursday everyone! So I know that the premiere for The Hunger Games isn't technically until tomorrow but since my husband and I are going to the midnight showing tonight, today's the day for us! As you've probably figured by now, I am a huge Hunger Games fan. I devoured all three books within a week, desperately trying to spread them out because I didn't want them to end but finding myself unable to stop reading. I'm sure you've all heard about The Hunger Games at this point, so I wont bore your with the details of the story. But let's just say even my husband loves the books. That's how awesome they are.

So for the premiere I decided to wear my district's color from the China Glaze Capitol Colors Collection. If you don't know what district you are in, you can find out here: The Capitol of Panem. I am from District 11, the agriculture district.  I was so excited to find out that 11 was my district, because I come from the same district as sweet little Rue =) Anyways, the corresponding color for District 11 in the Capitol Colors Collection is Agro.

I was so pumped to learn that my color was going to be Agro. It is a lovely olive green metallic polish with micro flecks of copper, right up my alley. Unfortunately, application on this polish was HORRID on me. I have read blogs praising the formula of this polish, saying how wonderfully velvety and smooth it was. I seemed to have the exact opposite experience with it. I found Agro to be incredibly thick yet runny at the same time, making it hard to control and ended up flooding my cuticles several times. Also, it bubbled on me like no other polish I had ever seen. Horrid.

So yeah, Agro just did not agree with me. I don't know if it was my body chemistry, the bottle that I received in combination with the super thick formula, but I'm not impressed. I'll keep this in my stash and maybe give it another try one day, but mostly because I am a major Hunger Games fan, and of course, because it is my district's color.

In order to save the manicure, I layered one of my color shifting topcoat frankens on top. The one that I chose was one that I frankened from gold-to-green color shifting pigment and Confetti Tiara. Not only did it save an otherwise streaky and bubbly manicure, but it looks BANGIN!

Manicure is as follows:
-base coat
-2 coats China Glaze Agro
-1 coat green-to-gold color shifting franken
-top coat

Hope you enjoy! I apologize for the bubbliness, I swear my nails aren't made out of sandpaper!

Are you a Hunger Games fan? Will you be wearing your district's color to the theatre?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pink Wednesday: Glass Fleck Layering

Hi everyone! I have been playing around with a lot of layering combos lately and I have another one for you today using two China Glaze glass flecks. One of my favorite polish finishes is glass fleck, where there are large, almost glassy shimmers throughout. China Glaze really does some fantastic glass fleck polishes so I have a boatload of them. Glass flecks tend to be a bit sheer in order to let the shimmer really shine through and help reflect the light, so I thought that layering two glass fleck colors would be fun =)

I started out with China Glaze Riveting from the recent Capitol Colors collection. Riveting is probably my favorite from the collection, as it is a super saturated bright orange glass fleck. On top of Riveting, I did one coat of China Glaze Strawberry Fields (another one of my favorites from ChG), which is a gorgeous pink glass fleck that has a golden tone to it. The two polishes together created a fantastic golden coral color that is absolutely perfect for the hot weather we have been having lately. I could not be more pleased with this layering experiment. I can see myself wearing this again for a pedicure in the summer for sure!

The coral color created by Riveting and Strawberry Fields looks different in different lighting situations, sometimes it looks more of a peachy-coral and other times more of a pinky-coral. I couldn't capture the depth of light and shimmer that this polish had in my pictures, but I certainly did try! The first 5 pictures are in artificial light and the last two are outdoors in the shade to try to convey the depth of shimmer. Hope you enjoy!

Hope everyone has a great rest of the day! <3

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lacquistry Cotton Candy - Swatches and Review

In the past few months, the nail polish world has seen a major influx of indy polish makers. These small companies like Nerd Lacquer, Dollish Polish, Lacquistry, and Nail-venturous (to name a few) are all created by fellow polish lovers who create unique, handcrafted polishes and sell them on sites like Etsy. People are rushing to buy these awesome polishes left and right, and they are selling like hotcakes!! Some of the more popular shops have to close down the same day they open to fill the 1000+ orders they receive within 24 hours of opening. They are selling out for good reason - these polishes are truly amazing, and most of them unlike anything that you would be able to find that is produced by traditional big-box brands such as OPI, Revlon, Butter London and the like.

I am absolutely thrilled at the outpouring of new and exciting polishes coming from indy companies lately. Unfortunately, there may be a lacquer base shortage on the horizon so the future of several of these brands is uncertain. Hopefully, these companies can find a new base supplier and keep on creating these wonderful polishes. While a lot of new collections coming out from major nail polish retailers have been making me yawn lately, I know that there will always be something new and exciting coming out from my favorite indy brands.

Today I have for you an indy polish made by Jenna over at Lacquistry on Etsy. The name is Cotton Candy, and was inspired by Jenna's love of Bubblicious Cotton Candy gum. It is an amazing blue glitter in a hot pink jelly base with fuchsia hex glitter scattered throughout. This is probably one of the most unique polishes that I own, and I absolutely adore it!

As amazing as Lacquistry Cotton Candy is, the application process is a bit more tricky that your average nail polish.  I actually had to remove my first try at painting my nails with this polish because I was just not loving how it was turning out. Because of the different sizes of glitter in the polish, the large hex glitters tend to clump together and you have to sometimes manually place where you want the hex glitters to go. It was actually pretty frustrating, and I'm no stranger to difficult-to-apply polishes. But it's just the nature of these types of glitter polishes and with a bit of patience I was able to get a much better application the second time around.

The blue glitter in a sheer hot pink base gives such a cool effect to this polish, and the hex glitters really add something special. The pictures tend to exaggerate the pink jelly base, whereas in real life it's not quite as noticeable. My pictures seem to make the blue appear more purple than it really is, perhaps because of the pink base. In real life, it is the perfect, bright medium blue color with no purple tone to it. My sad photographing skills just could not capture how blingy and glowy it really was. It definitely reminds me of the pink and blue swirled Bubbilicious Cotton Candy gum!

All in all, Lacquistry Cotton Candy is an amazingly awesome and unique polish that requires a bit of patience to apply. But once you get past the tricky application process, this polish will smack you in the face with awesome. The first two pictures are natural light and the rest are artificial light indoors. Don't forget to click on the pictures to enlarge. Hope you enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patty's Day Glitter Layering

HI MY LOVELY FOLLOWERS!! Finally a new post, I'm so excited to be posting again =) My lovely blogger friends have been on my ass lately to start posting again (as they should!) so I figured spring break was the perfect time for me to get cracking again! Today I have for you a super blinged out glitter manicure for St. Patrick's Day. I can't stop staring at my nails, I am so in love with this layering combo!

I started out with two coats of an old vintage Wet n Wild. The polish has no name, but a number (416A to be exact) and is a lovely medium green color with phenomenal golden shimmer running throughout. I will have to do a post on this color by itself one day, it is such a fab green. I know, a vintage green polish - so typical of me!

Then I layered two coats of Orly Here Comes Trouble on top, which is an awesome grass green glitter. You could probably get full coverage with this after about 4-5 coats, but I wanted to layer it over a green that was a bit darker to add some depth.

The pièce de résistance in this manicure is the one coat of Essence My Sparkling Acrobat that I added on top. I am obsessed with this polish!! I acquired this Euro-only color in a lovely swap with Caroline from Good Lack, Nail! and I have used it in at least 3 manicures so far, it is that awesome. My Sparkling Acrobat is a dual-ended polish that has a great black creme on one end and a gold glitter on the other. This is not your typical gold glitter, however. It is gold square and micro glitter in a clear base. SQUARE GLITTER! Is there anything in life better than square glitter? I think not.

Anyways, here's the glitterbomb! The layers are as follows:

- base coat
- 2 coats Wet n Wild 416A
- 2 coats Orly Here Comes trouble
- 1 coat Essence My Sparkling Acrobat
- top coat

The first two pics are natural light, the rest are artificial light indoors. As you can see, my photo skills are a bit rusty so please bear with me! Enjoy =)