Sunday, April 22, 2012

Retro Sunday Squared - Vintage Sally Hansen Hard as Nails

Happy Sunday everyone! Long time no see =) Today Dana and I have decided to share some vintage Sally Hansen Hard as Nails polishes with you. Don't forget to check out Dana's post over at Polished Claws Up, she has some fun ones to show you guys today!!

I've had a tough time researching these polishes, as there are so many incarnations of Hard as Nails polish still available these days so I'm not quite sure when exactly these came out. My guess is somewhere in the mid-to-late 90's but don't quote me on that. This line is known for its matching brush handles, which is probably my favorite thing about them!! If the polish is shimmery, the brush handle with be a matching shimmery color. If the polish is glitter, there will be glitter embedded in the brush handle. I think the whole matching brush trend needs to be resurrected, it makes the bottles look so pretty =)

Anyways, the first Hard as Nails polish I have for you today is Slick Frost. Of all the vintage Hard as Nails polishes I own, this is hands down my favorite. In fact, this is probably one of my top 3 favorite oranges in my entire collection. Slick Frost is an amazing, glowy bright orange. It is a bit brushstroke-y, but I really don't mind because it just enhances the glow of the polish. Old polishes like this tend to be a bit watery and sheer, so it took 3 coats to reach opacity here. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the bottle but I assure you that the brush handle is a lovely, shimmery orange that matches the Slick Frost polish. SO COOL!

Here is Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Slick Frost, 3 coats with topcoat.

Next up is Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Nuclear. Nuclear may be one of the oddest polishes in my collection. It is from a special edition line of glitters, and again, I have no idea when these came out. The line consists of silver holo glitter in sheer colored bases. Sounds great but in reality, they're actually not all that awesome. Nuclear is probably the ugliest of them all, a silver holo glitter in a sheer, watery yellow base. I chose it because I though that the yellow base would lend a gold-ish tinge to the glitter that would mesh nicely with Slick Frost. It definitely made the glitter appear gold, but I'm not so sure it meshed well with Slick Frost. It added a very unpleasant yellow cast and I'm not digging it. In fact, I'm not sure this polish would mesh well with much of anything! Anyways, it was an interesting experiment. The best thing about this polish is the matching glitter handle =)

Here's 2 coats of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Nuclear over Slick Frost.

Hope you've enjoyed this edition of Retro Sunday Squared!!! Don't forget to check out Dana's post as well =) See you next time!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Retro Sunday Squared - Vintage Revlon Streetwear

Hi and Happy Easter everyone!!! As I see all these beautiful Easter manicures on my dash today, I bring you two very non-Easter manis =) Dana and I decided to showcase some old Revlon Streetwear polishes for you all today, so don't forget to check out her awesome Streetwears over at Polished Claws Up, as she has some fantastic ones in store for you on this edition of Retro Sunday Sqaured!

I was super excited to do this post today, because Streetwear polishes are probably some of my favorite vintage polishes that I own. Revlon introduced the Streetwear line sometime around '96-'97 as a response to the Hard Candy and Urban Decay nail polish lines that were taking the beauty world by storm. In my opinion, it turns out that Streetwear far surpassed both of those lines in terms of innovation and pure awesomeness in colors. The two polishes that I chose to show you today are probably two of the most unique in my stash and have been yet to be duped by any polish line to date. 

First on up is Streetwear Black Widow. I was going to save this polish for around Halloween, but I couldn't resist swatching it today! Black Widow is a glitter polish that has black and silver microglitter and black bar glitter in a clear base. Streetwear was famous for its use of bar glitter and this one is one of the best bar glitters they did! The black bar glitter reminds me of spider legs, it's so creepy and grungy. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it's so evocative of the 90's and I am absolutely love with it. I can see my 90's self rocking Black Widow with a mini skirt and some combat boots.

For these pictures, I layered 2 coats of Streetwear Black Widow over one coat of Essence I Wear My Flying Goggles at Night, which is a greyish-taupe creme. I love the way the black and silver glitters stand out against the taupe background. Enjoy!

Next up is probably one of my top 5 polishes in all of my stash, Streetwear FX Flash (green version). FX Flash (green version) is a glitter polish that contains green-gold-blue color shifting glitter and black microglitter in a clear base. FX Flash is probably one of the first polishes that contained color shift glitter. Both the green and blue versions of FX Flash contain color shifting glitter, but the glitter in the green version is positively out of this world! The glitter shifts from green to gold to blue, and it is effing phenomenal. Truly amazing. 

I layered 2 coats of Streetwear FX Flash over a coat of Wet n Wild Black Creme here. I originally was going to layer it over a dark teal to show you the black microglitter in the polish, but let's be honest, the color shift glitter is the star in this polish and it looks the best over black. In most lighting situations, you can only really see the green and gold facets of the glitter, but I was able to get a few shots in low-light that showcased the blue flash as well. Oh and sorry for the blurry pictures, I seriously took like 100 pics and they were all blurry and gross =( Hopefully you can still see the awesomeness that is Streetwear FX Flash!

Revlon Streetwear polishes are long discontinued, but still available on online shops such as eBay and blog sales. Both of these are pretty rare but do pop up from time to time, so keep your eyes peeled! Revlon Streetwear is actually still sold in stores in India, but the shades are much more mainstream and none of the old colors remain. I wish Revlon would bring this line back into stores and re-release all the awesome colors of the past! A girl can dream, right?

Thanks for stopping by for these very out-of-season manicures today! What do you all think? Do you own any vintage Streetwears? What are your favorite colors from this line? 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Pastel Water Marble

Hi friends!!! Long time no see =) I had a bad break on one of my nails this week so I wanted to let it grow out a bit before I subjected you to my nubs! Luckily, my nails grow like weeds so it only took a few days to get back to normal.

Since Easter weekend is upon us, I wanted to do a fun, spring-y manicure for you all today. I decided to do a water marble with some of my favorite pastel colors and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out! I used China Glaze Lemon Fizz, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Lacey Lilac and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mint Sorbet. The last water marble I did, a lot of people commented on how bright it was. That was because I always do my marbles on a white background. This helps the colors show up a lot better, since when the colors spread out on the water they become more sheer.

The one thing I don't like about water marbles (or nail art in general) is I can never seem to clean up my cuticles the way I would with a normal manicure. There always seems to be some sort of polish left behind, and no matter how much I scrub with my clean-up brush, they never seem to come completely clean. And then, my cuticles look wrecked from all the scrubbing I have done. Yuck! If anyone has any tips on how to clean up nail art better, please let me know =)

Anyways, here is my pastel water marble with Lemon Fizz, Lacey Lilac and Mint Sorbet. I did two colors of Wet n Wild French White Creme underneath and then did the marble on top of that. Please forgive the dryness, I swear it doesn't look that bad in real life =) Enjoy!!

What's your favorite spring manicure?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Retro Sunday Squared with Polished Claws Up- Vintage Urban Decay

Hey you guys!!! Today's post is going to be uber quick because I'm currently working on baking/frosting about a million different kinds of cupcakes (and homemade ice cream) for my husband's birthday party today so I don't have too much time on my hands. Please forgive any typos/grammatical errors/confusing rambling that you find in this post today =) I'm a bit behind on blog reading as well so if you haven't heard from me for a few days, I promise I am going to catch up on all my blogs tomorrow =)

Anyways, I'm super excited about today's post! Dana and I have decided to do vintage Urban Decay for you today. Don't forget to check out her post at Polished Claws Up! as she has some excellent vintage Urban Decays for you guys =)

Urban Decay is a brand that was born in the 90's and is very near and dear to my heart because it was one of my favorite, if not my absolute favorite, cosmetics brand growing up. It was sold in stores such as Nordstrom and Sephora and had a grunge feel to it. It was right alongside with Hard Candy as being one of the cutting edge brands that had unusual colors and even more unusual names. Urban Decay's nail polish was one of its signature items, and I am lucky enough to have one of the polishes from Urban Decay's original line.

For some reason, hardly any polishes from UD's original line exist today. Hard Candy came out around the same time as Urban Decay and a ton of original Hard Candy still exists. My theory as to why original UD is nearly extinct is this: the bottle design did not allow for a tight enough seal. So probably the majority of old UD's dried up because the bottle is not airtight and pretty much everyone who owned one ended up tossing it out. Hard Candy bottles have a bit better of a seal on there, and even better, they had those rings around the cap to help further seal the air out.

Anyways, the original UD I have for you today is called Dude. It was released in 1998 as a special edition for the release of The Big Lebowski. I found this on etsy in a shop that recycled old cosmetics and turned them into magnets. When I saw this bottle in that shop, I almost peed myself. I never thought I would see an original bottle of Urban Decay polish in my entire life! When I first received Dude, it was completely dried up. The glitter was all stuck to the sides and there was not a drop of liquid to be found in the bottle. But with about half a bottle of Seche Restore, Dude was good as new!!

Dude is a dark seafoam green glitter in a clear base. I used 3 coats here to reach opacity, with a coat of Gelous and coat of Seche Vite on top to smooth it out. Enjoy =)

Next up is Toxin, from the 1st re-release of Urban Decay polishes. Toxin was re-released sometime around 2002 (hopefully Kaz will step in and confirm or deny that fact). Around this time, Urban Decay and Hard Candy were both acquired by LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey) and both brands saw a major overhaul to include more consumer-friendly shades. Sadly, both lines lost a lot of the edge that they once had and along with that went the puke greens and mustard yellow nail polish shades in exchange for lots of pinks and reds. However, both brands still had some awesome colors and with this was Urban Decay Toxin. Toxin was actually a color available in the original UD line but I'm not sure if this was how it looked in that line as well.

I have to apologize for these pictures, folks. Toxin is WAY more awesome than I was able to capture here. Part of why Toxin is so highly sought after is because it contains the same red-to-green color shifting pigment that is in the infamous Clarins 230. I wasn't able to capture the shift very well today, so I apologize. Hopefully one day I can re-swatch Toxin when I have more time to play around with lighting situations.

Anyways, Toxin is a purple jelly polish (think melted grape popsicle) packed with the color shifting pigment that adds a phenomenal shimmer to this. These pictures are 4 coats of Toxin plus one coat of topcoat. Enjoy!

So what do you guys think? Do you own any vintage Urban Decay polishes? Did you have any back in the 90's?