Thursday, October 31, 2013

Alanna Renee Hedwig

Hello all, I have a delightful Alanna Renee polish inspired by Harry Potter to show you today - this is Hedwig, a mix of white bar glitter, yellow hexes and black microglitter in a white crelly base.  I used two coats of Hedwig over one coat of Illamasqua Scorch (a white creme) with one coat of Cult Nails Wicked Fast to finish off.

The formula was fantastic; it glided onto the nail perfectly and the bar glitter lay flat without curling at all.

Hedwig could probably be opaque by itself in three or four coats, but I recommend wearing it over a white base to minimise thickness and lessen the density of glitter.

This polish is very sweet, and I feel that it represents Hedwig in the Harry Potter books very well!

Base & top coat:
Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:
Illamasqua Scorch - one coat
Alanna Renee Hedwig - two coats

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Nfu Oh JS08

I've got another Nfu Oh Jelly Syrup polish to show you - this is JS08, a creamy, muted orange (my photos show the polish as a bit brighter than it is in real life; the photo of my thumb is the most colour-accurate).  

JS08 is opaque in four coats.  I did a quick syrup mani on my thumb which worked beautifully.  One of my favourite things about the Nfu Oh Jelly Syrup is that they're very streak-free!

Base & top coat:
Base - none
Top - none
Polish used:
Nfu Oh JS08 - one to four coats

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Orly Miss Conduct

After the first time I saw swatches of Orly Miss Conduct, I lusted after it for ages and then finally got my hands on a bottle (as well as a backup, oops).  I can safely say that it is just as gorgeous as I had imagined!

Miss Conduct is opaque in two to three coats - I'm wearing two coats on some nails and three on others in these photos - and it applies smoothly and easily.  I finished off with a coat of Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat.

In the sun, Miss Conduct lights up like nobody's business and flashes that incredible scattered holo at you.  See the photo below for how she looks in the sun.

I absolutely love this polish - great application, great colour and the scattered holo is so lovely!

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Orly Miss Conduct - two to three coats

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Nfu Oh JS24

I have another one of the gorgeous Nfu Oh Jelly Syrup polishes for you today - this is JS24, a polish that looks red in the bottle but comes out as a bright, juicy pink.

JS24 is opaque in four coats, but three coats gives you a deliciously streak-free jelly look.

I tried a quick syrup gradient on my thumb, which was very easy and looks great!

Base & top coat:Base - none
Top - none
Polish used:Nfu Oh JS24 - one to four coats

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Glowing Fiery Cling Wrap Nails with A England and Zoya

Cling wrap manis are one of my favourite nail art techniques, and so many bloggers have come up with interesting combinations that look incredible!  I found a gorgeous mani by Manicurity that used China Glaze Riveting (a shimmery orange) and China Glaze Custom Kicks (a bright turquoise) that created an amazing glowing from within/fiery jewel effect that I had to try.

I don't own either of those China Glaze polishes, but I was wearing a four-day-old mani of Zoya Amy, a beautiful shimmery glass fleck orange and I thought that A England Galahad would go well.

A England Galahad is a dusty teal creme, lovely in the bottle and lovely on the nail.  To create this mani I brushed a coat of Galahad over my Zoya Amy manicure and used scrunched up balls of cling wrap to dab Galahad off and reveal the orange beneath.

I finished with a coat of Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat to smooth out the bumps from the cling wrap and give everything a nice shine.  The colour doesn't pop nearly as much without top coat!

I really like this manicure - I wish I'd chosen a bit of a lighter blue but the contrast between dark and light, creme and shimmer is gorgeous.  I'm glad I found Manicurity's example because this isn't a combination I'd have thought of myself!

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Zoya Amy - two to three coats
A England Galahad - one coat (cling wrapped)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My (Revised) Nail Routine

If you've been reading this blog since its birth or if you've read some of my posts (either way - hello and thank you!), you may have seen my step-by-step tutorial on how I paint my nails.  It's been quite a few months since then and, if I do say so myself, my nail skills have improved drastically.

Applying Polish
I use either Duri Rejuvacote or OPI Natural Nails Base Coat, and my go-to top coats are Cult Nails Wicked Fast (for when I'm wearing more than two coats of polish) and the OPI top coat (for swatching).  PVA glue peel-off base is also useful if you only want to wear a glitterbomb for a short period of time.
I use the 'three-stroke' method of painting my nails (see it here on Laquerized or in this video by Kayla Shevonne) - I always make sure to wrap my tips.  When I'm using a polish that has very dense glitter, I use the 'dabble' method (shown here by More Nail Polish).

I used to leave my thumbs bare of polish so I could clean up as I went, but now I use an angled makeup brush with acetone for clean up (you can use polish remover, but I found that everything was much easier once I got my hands on some pure acetone).  The OPI Correct and Clean Up pen is another go-to for me when I find I've missed a spot of polish and want to get rid of it quickly without getting the acetone and everything out.
I clean up around my nails after the first coat of polish, and again after the second if I need to (my second coat's usually neater).  I dip my makeup brush straight into the acetone bottle, swipe it on the insides of the bottle neck to get rid of excess acetone and then brush around my cuticles and nails as needed (see the technique here on Laquerized).  I clean the brush off on a bit of paper towel.

Removing Polish
To remove my nail polish, I use a polish remover with acetone and some cotton wool.
Originally, I used starofmaybeauty's method of removing polish with a makeup pad, but now I use the soak-and-swipe method (shown here by Elissa of Ten Little Nubs).  Basically, unroll a cotton ball and pull it apart so it's in small bits.  Soak the bits in remover and place on the nail, making sure that the whole nail is covered.  Wait a couple of minutes (depending on the polish - cremes take less time while shimmers and glitters take longer) then, with a slight side-to-side motion, pull the cotton off the nail.
To remove nail polish with dense glitter, I use the foil method of removal (shown here by Elissa of Ten Little Nubs)

I don't use cuticle remover but if I do find that some cuticle/skin has stuck onto my nail (generally a couple of millimetres away from the cuticles themselves) I gently scrape it off with an orange stick or buff my nail with one of those 3-step buffing files to get rid of it (if I don't do anything about it, my polish tends to lift at the cuticle area after about a day of wear).
I moisturise my skin regularly as a habit, but when the skin around my nails is looking particularly dry I massage some Lush Lemony Flutter in.

Shaping Nails
I use a very fine nail file to shape my nails, since my nails used to be very weak and I don't want to damage them.  (For information on filing, see these awesome posts by Loodie Loodie Loodie).  When I want to take down length (usually after my mother remarks at how long my nails are getting) I use a nail clipper and chop them down to a length that's roughly what I want, then I go back with nail files and refine the shape.  I know that a lot of people don't use nail clippers because they can be bad for your nails, but it works for me!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sayuri Fro Cone

Hello all, today I've got a sweet polish to show you; this is Sayuri Fro Cone, a limited edition polish which was part of the August What's In-Die Box.  Fro Cone is inspired by Snowanna Rainbeau, a kart racer in Sugar Rush.  The polish has a shimmery purple base that reminds me of some kind of drink, and the glitter immersed within includes red hexes, purple squares and purple stars.

I'm wearing two and a bit coats - two coats with some extra dabbed on where needed, with two coats of top coat to finish.  I experienced some shrinking at the tips after top coat was added.

Fro Cone's formula was great, very easy to work with and other than the stars, there was no glitter fishing required.  Overall, this is a nice, soft polish with a great combination of glitter!

Notes on removal: I used the foil method for removal with no issues.

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Sayuri Fro Cone - two to three coats

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sheer happiness with OPI Don't Burst My Bubble

Hello all!  I have a beautiful sheer polish to show you today - this is two smooth coats of OPI Don't Burst My Bubble, a pale pink jelly.  At two coats the polish looks milky, soft and very shiny!

This is a lovely palette cleanser polish.  I don't often wear sheers, in fact, this is only the second time I have done so, but I quite enjoy it because it really elongates your nails and fingers and is very subtle while still being there.

I wore three coats on my thumb to cover up some patchiness in my application, which gives a more solid colour, but nail line is still faintly visible.

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:OPI Don't Burst My Bubble - two coats (three on thumb)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Zoya Amy

Hi all, I have another beautiful Zoya polish to show you today!  This is Zoya Amy, a bright orange foil that's packed full of glass fleck-like particles that are insanely sparkly.  The colour is very intense and juicy; I love it!

I used two coats of Amy on every finger except for my middle finger, where I used three.  I had to use three coats for my right hand because my application was less consistent.  I topped everything off with Cult Nails Wicked Fast.

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Zoya Amy - two to three coats

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hare Polish A Positive

I was chopping my nails and took down more length than I intended.  Oops.  To make myself feel better, I decided to give my Hare Polish, A Positive, a spin.  A Positive is a glitter sandwich in a bottle, with a berry-pink jelly base and different sizes of silver hexes.  Depending on the light, the polish can look like a dark berry or a bright jellyish hot pink.

My first reaction as I began applying A Positive was wow.  I expected the jelly base to be very sheer and require 3+ coats for opacity and was a bit dubious about going out on a limb and not using a base colour, but a base is definitely not necessary for this baby.  

I'm wearing two coats of A Positive on all my fingers except my ring and pinky, on which I'm wearing three (I had a few glitter-free spots that I had to eliminate).  Coverage in two coats is great, and even at three coats the glitter doesn't make the polish feel thick on the nail.  I'm wearing just one coat of top coat to finish off, but if you like a perfectly glass-smooth nail I'd recommend using a glitter tamer or two coats of top coat.

Overall - great application, great colour and a joy to wear!

Notes on removal: I used the foil method and had no issues.

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Hare Polish A Positive - two to three coats

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Crossover Chevrons with Misa

Judging from a bit of hasty Googling, these aren't exactly chevrons but they're close enough for me.  I hope you all like them!

To create this look I used a base colour of two coats of Misa Ripe Raspberry, then swiped a stroke of Misa Peach Passion and finally Misa Lovely Lychee over the top.  I finished with a coat of Cult Nails Wicked Fast.

I'm really loving the Misa polishes I've tried - their formulas are smooth and silky, very easy to work with.  Ripe Raspberry is a baby pink that looks purple next to the brightness of Lovelly Lychee, and Peach Passion is a soft but bright orange.  Here's what the design looked like with just the Peach Passion over Ripe Raspberry; this part was easy to do, just a careful swipe of the brush over the tip of the nail.  I rolled my finger a bit instead of just moving my brush hand to make the line as straight as I could.

My only problem with these polishes was that the Peach Passion brush was faulty.  When I took the lid off, the inside bit of the brush came right off the cap!  I tried pushing it back in there with an orange stick but it didn't work.  This made the brush very difficult to work with, as you can imagine!

However, I soldiered on.  Lovely Lychee is a bright, hot pink that I absolutely love!  It's also very opaque, which was good for this nail art.  Doing this stripe took a bit of hand contortion but eventually I worked out a way that worked best for me.

After waiting for the design to dry for a while, I carefully went over with a coat of Cult Nails Wicked Fast to finish.  No smearing, thank goodness!

Overall, I absolutely love this look and I had heaps of comments from people who couldn't believe I'd done it myself!  I will definitely use this design in different colours again and again because it's a relatively easy nail art design.

Just be aware that there is a high probability of getting polish on your skin (I did.  A lot.) when you do the swipes, but a brush and some acetone fixes this all up!

Notes on wear time and removal: I forget how long I wore this mani for, but it was a couple of days, and I didn't experience any chips and only minimal tipwear.  How awesome is that?!  Removal was fine, but I did need to keep my cotton wool on the nail for a bit longer since there were quite a few coats of polish on the tips.

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - Cult Nails Wicked Fast
Polish used:Misa Ripe Raspberry - two coats
Misa Peach Passion - one coat, swiped over nail tip
Misa Lovely Lychee - one coat, swiped over nail tip

Thursday, October 3, 2013

OPI Eurso Euro

Hello all!  I'm loving blue nail polish more and more these days, and I'm so glad I have OPI Eurso Euro.  This is a dark navy blue creme that can look almost black in some lights.

Application was smooth and easy - it was almost opaque in one coat.  I'm wearing two coats with no top coat for these swatches.  A very versatile and beautiful polish!

Notes on removal: no issues, no staining!

Base & top coat:Base - Duri Rejuvacote
Top - none
Polish used:OPI Eurso Euro - two coats

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September Haul

I wasn't going to buy any polish this month, but then I wanted more jellies and saw that Nfu Oh was discounted on Crush I thought, what the heck.  This was my second order from Crush Cosmetics and I can safely say that they're a great e-tailer, and if you're in Australia the shipping is very convenient and inexpensive (I got free shipping for this order).

I bought eight Nfu Oh polishes; four jellies and four flakies.  I'm not showing two of the flakies here because I'm hoarding them for a giveaway next year (that's me, forward planning to the point of being ridiculous), but the rest are all mine!  So here they are.

Left to right (all Nfu Oh): 24, 12, 10, 8, 55, 45
Nfu Oh 24, 12, 10 and 8 are all jellies.  I swatched them on swatch sticks to get an idea of their colour and opacity.  At three coats, 8, 12 and 10 look pretty opaque but 24 is more like the food jelly as the colour is strong and streak-free but still translucent.  Another thing to note is that in the bottle, Nfu Oh 24 looks red but on the swatch stick it's a berry/hot pink colour.

Left to right (all Nfu Oh): 8, 24, 12, 10
Swatches of the two flakies, 45 and 55, are shown as two coats.  The left half of the swatch stick has a stripe of black underneath to show what the flakies would like like over a dark colour.

Left to right (both Nfu Oh): 45, 55
In addition to the polish, I bought some (...three hundred) clear swatch sticks from ebay.  I'm a very obsessive person, a fact which I have come to terms with and embraced, and I love to organise stuff.  Nail polish is one of the few things in my house that I have complete control over and that nobody else touches, so I love messing around with it and organising it the way I want to (stay tuned for a stash organisation post!)  Swatch sticks seemed to be the next logical progression for me so I had heaps of fun swatching every single one of my polishes onto the sticks and grouping them by colour etc on hinged document rings.  I shudder to think of all the fumes I inhaled, but it was worth it.  Hopefully I can do a little photo shoot and pop a post up about my swatch sticks soon!

And that concludes my September haul.  Thanks for reading!