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Archive for August, 2009

French Week – half-moon manicure

Posted by manicuremania on August 31, 2009

french week
Now, this isn’t a french, exactly, but it’s french-like. French-adjacent. I think it still counts for french week, because I’ve been wanting to do it for a while!

ch ravishing reverse french 2

flash!

It’s an interesting look, and I used China Glaze Ravishing Dahling, which is a wonderful jelly-ish polish.

ch ravishing reverse french 3

no flash!

I think you can see the full effect more when the pictures aren’t cropped so tightly, but I had an issue with my thumbnail that I had to “fix.”

no flash!

I have used my expert Photoshopping skillz to edit out the enormous smudge that happened on the way outside to take the pics.

I freehanded the moons, which turned out OK. I just followed the curve of my natural moons (is there a real term for those?) with the polish brush, and then cleaned them up a bit with acetone and a paintbrush.

As always, here is my list of complaints/things I will do differently next time:

I’d liked to not follow the curve of my moons, and instead make them larger and more curved in order to increase the drama of the effect. I think I could’ve done with a third coat of polish to make it darker and more vampy and 1940’s-ish, and I also think I need an actual color for the moons instead of just leaving them bare, because there’s not enough contrast between the moons and my skin. Also interesting would be to include a french tip, I think – maybe with a dull white color for the moons and tips.

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French Week – colored french

Posted by manicuremania on August 30, 2009

french week
Colored frenches = awesome! I bought these Avon and Maybelline colored french duos probably…15 years ago? They required quite a bit of thinning. 🙂

I have two Maybelline Express Finish tip colors, but the matching sheers that I know I had at one point are mysteriously missing from my collection.

french tip polishes

french tip polish tops

I also have two Avon sheers…but again, the tip colors are oddly no longer in my collection. I’m not even 100% certain that these were part of a french kit, but I’m pretty sure.

sheer french polishes 2

sheer french polishes

This makes me sad, and I can’t figure out where they might have gotten to! I’ve tried searching around but I can’t seem to find the missing polishes for sale anywhere. I shall keep looking! And in the meantime, here’s a french manicure I did using Avon Sheer Blue and Maybelline French Tip Blue.

aveon sheer french

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French Week – lacy french

Posted by manicuremania on August 30, 2009

french week
This is a pretty classic french manicure. Simple and elegant, and I really like this look! I used Sally Hansen Natural Color for the sheer polish (it came in some sort of french kit years ago), and Orly White Tips for the tips, which I added last so the tips are still stark white. My critique of this is that I made the tips too thick.

classic!!

classic!!

Then I added a Konad, and I think I just made my favorite manicure ever. I used white Special Polish and plate 73. Not too much more to say about it…it’s very girly and pretty and it reminds me of lace.

pretty pretty!

pretty pretty!

[edit]
OK…I really like my nails here, and because of that I plan on wearing this for a while. But it started to bug me like crazy that the tips were so thick…soooo…well, I redid them. And now I am much happier with them and I won’t have to hide my nails tomorrow at work!!

sh natural color redo

sh natural color redo 2

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shocked at Target!

Posted by manicuremania on August 30, 2009

I went into a Target yesterday that I rarely go in, and of course I had to wander casually down the nail aisles even though I am on a strict no-buy. They had Essies and O.P.I.s! It’s so awesome to be able to buy higher quality polishes at a drugstore-type place! I could walk in there any time I wanted and purchase a ridge filling base coat instead of driving 45 minutes to Ulta or Sally’s! I simply had  to take an extremely covert camera-phone picture (it’s actually impossible to be stealthy when taking pictures with a cellphone, I looked like a dumbass).

sdd

furtive blackberry pic

It was a nice display, too – a pretty small range of colors (pinks and reds and mauves of course, nothing really interesting), but large and impressive all the same.  The whole section was absolutely wiiiiiped out of every brand though. I really want Sally Hansen Honeydew!! 😦

I also went to Ulta yesterday, and bought NOTHING! My boyfriend saw me admiring Banana Bandana and offered to buy it for me, but I resisted: NO-BUY INCLUDES GIFTS.

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French Week – Tire Tracks Konad

Posted by manicuremania on August 30, 2009

french week
I did this one a while ago and thought I’d drag it out for French Week! I love the combination of pink and black – it seems so vintage and it reminds me of poodle skirts and sock hops. The Konad pattern I used also looked nice, but not in black – I kept getting people exclaiming over my nails and then asking me if I’m into Nascar, or mentioning that it looks like tire treads. Not quite the effect I was going for.

bleh

cellphone pic, slightly washed out

I think I’ll try another variation of the pink and black this week without the tires.

This was Finger Paints Pink Dawn Konaded with black Special Polish and plate 44.

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French Week – Orly French Kit FAIL

Posted by manicuremania on August 29, 2009

french week
OK, to kick off French Week, I have my new Orly French Kit. The selection of Orly polishes for frenches at Sally’s was pretty impressive to me. There were many many different shades of white and lots of sheers – I literally could not choose, so I went the safe route with a kit.

Anyway, the Orly French kit. I got the kit in rose, and I believe there are also pink and peach versions. The box contains four polishes –  Rose Tone (sheer pink), White Tips, Bonder Rubberized Basecoat, In A Snap Quick Dry Topcoat, and some tip guide stickers. I followed the instructions in the box (though it’s not how I really prefer to do it) and used all four steps just to see how the kit worked for me. I applied the basecoat over my usual two coats of Orly Nail Armor, of course. The basecoat dried rather too quickly for me, which seems to be a common complaint of mine, so maybe the problem is actually me, I dunno. Next the instructions called for me to paint on the tips, which I don’t especially like doing first. I can never get an even application of the sheer over the white, so it doesn’t do its intended job of muting the white tips – instead it just makes the tips look streaky. So normally I like to do the tips last. I freehanded them again, and I did a much better job this time. I didn’t use the guides because I don’t enjoy the shelf of polish that it creates.

The coverage of the white was great! I would call that an improvement from my normal Sally Hanson whites for frenches – I didn’t have to use three coats for opacity!!!

Next, the sheer pink, one coat. Didn’t deposit much (or any?) color on my bare nails, but a lot on the tips, as usual. Sigh.

Then I added a step – I painted a thin line of silver glitter polish at the tip line.

Topcoat – was odd to use because it’s not as thick as my beloved Seche, but it did dry quickly. I was still getting dents about half an hour later though, so perhaps there’s a reason that I’ve never really heard/read anything about this Orly topcoat.

artificial light

artificial light - very very wonky colors here

So. The pink streaks at the tips didn’t look too bad when I was sitting by my computer in the dim light in here. But then I walked to another room and the tips were stark white with hot pink streaks, it was completely noticable and defined and I couldn’t deal with it. So I decided to just roll with the pink color…I  added a second coat of the sheer pink, another coat of silver glitter cause the pink dulled the glitter, and a coat of Seche.

And now it’s terribly pink, and horrible. I was trying to hide my nails all day long! The nail beds were actually darker than the tips, and it just looked weird and bad. Aside from that, I think it would’ve been better with white or clear glitter – something that adds a little sparkle and interest, but doesn’t actually create a darker line. One person told me today that the line of silver looked like dirt under my nails!

TOO MUCH PINK!!!!

TOO MUCH PINK!!!!

So the french kit was a big fat FAIL. Actually, I suppose the only thing that failed was the Sheer Rose polish, but that really screwed up the entire thing. I liked the White Tips polish a lot, though, and I will probably buy a full sized bottle of it eventually.

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French Week – this will not be a popular opinion.

Posted by manicuremania on August 29, 2009

Ohhhh, french manicures, how I love you! I love you and I don’t care who knows it. I love how fancy you make my nails look. I love how you seem to wear better than other polishes. I love how simple you are. I love how you make my nails look longer!

I know that french manicures have a bad reputation, and really, I understand why. Frenches do tend to be worn sometimes by…a trashy element. And probably just about every girl can remember getting a horrible french manicure done for some high school event like prom,  usually with acrylics. But, I just do not care! I love them! I think that it’s just such an easy way to dress up my nails, and frenches make my nails feel so elegant and fancy (which probably shows my tacky side, but whatever).

That is why I am declaring this week…

french week
I have several ideas for things to try and I’m excited about having a theme!

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Zoya – Harley

Posted by manicuremania on August 27, 2009

Sigh.

I was so excited about this batch of four Zoya polishes I just got, but they’re just really disappointing me. This one is a really odd color. Even with Seche, it’s dull and flat and just isn’t interesting. It does appear to have darker gray sparkles, but they’re not shimmery. I don’t NEED shimmer to like a polish but this one is just so dull!! And even kinda ugly IMO.

zoya harley

The big problem with it, though, was again the application. It turned out…lumpy! It took three coats to banish Visible Nail Line, but even the first coat was uneven and chunky.

It’s an unusual color. It catches my eye and I bring my hand close to inspect it, but then I’m disappointed that it’s still just a dull gray creme with no hint of shimmer, no purple or blue undertones. Just stark gray like concrete. Zoya’s site describes it as a “soft shimmering gray,” cool-toned, frosty finish. Eh. I didn’t realize “frosty” meant “dull.”

So I thought I’d try to fancy it up a bit by adding french tips and using some of my Art Deco nail art polishes. Oh and here are the ones I have:

silver glitter, silver, blasck glitter, black, gold glitter, white

silver glitter, silver, black glitter, black, gold glitter, white

I painted on tips using Sally Hansen Gunmetal, a very nice dark grey with blue undertones. It looks exactly like what I picture “gunmetal” to be. Then I added different colored stripes below the tip lines in a variety of colors, just to see how they look because I haven’t tried out the Art Club striping polishes yet:

zoya harley art

They’re pretty much all bad, except for the silver glitter on my index finger. I reallllly like that look, and when I get around to trying my new Orly French kit, I will definitely be adding silver glitter stripes to jazz it up a bit.

zoya harley art 2

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China Glaze – Ruby Pumps

Posted by manicuremania on August 26, 2009

I broke a nail yesterday :(

I broke a nail yesterday 😦

I love polishes that sparkle! I just cannot stop wiggling my fingers in the light to make them glitter. I wouldn’t call this a *true* glitter, really…it’s not a super-glitter like my Color Club Art of Seduction, but packs a nice amount of sparkly onto my nails just the same. The glitter is sooooo fine that it’s lots and lots of tiny sparkles instead of big lumps like in the AoS. It’s also perfectly smooth – not bumpy at all like most glitter polishes. I swear, if China Glaze would throw this glitter into other colors, I would snap every one of them up. I even love the base – it looks like such a bright, color-dense jelly, and I’d love to see it sans-glitter.

The color’s not really me though. Too bright, too red.

sunlight

sunlight

It applied perfectly. This one was a pleasure! It was ALMOST opaque in one coat, amazingly to me. This is two coats.

Oh, one more thing – it was no harder to remove than any normal polish. This was AWESOME!

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China Glaze – Fifth Avenue

Posted by manicuremania on August 23, 2009

pretty pretty!

pretty pretty!

Every time I walk into Sally Beauty I make a beeline for the nail polish displays. My eyes flit over the China Glaze display first, and BAM! I focus on Fifth Avenue. This happens like 5 times on every trip I make to that store. My eye is just drawn to this ordinary pink color, past all the bright blues and greens and glitters. I’ve held off on buying it for a long time because I’m trying not to buy colors that are too similar to things I already have, and my collection is full of boring pinks and mauves already. But I broke down finally and now it’s all miiiiine!

Bad Landing, Maked, Lubu Heels, Fifth Avenue, Tree Hugger, Ruby Pumps, ???, For Audrey, Ravishing Dahling

L-R: Bad Landing, Maked, Lubu Heels, Fifth Avenue, Tree Hugger, Ruby Pumps, V, For Audrey, Ravishing Dahling

I lined up all my China Glazes to demonstrate the phenomenon to myself (man, I didn’t know I had so many China Glaze reds and pinks), and yep, though I wouldn’t call it the prettiest of my colors, it is the one I can’t stop looking at. Weird.

Anyway, this is a great polish. It’s darker and more berryish than it looked in the bottle but I still really like it. No application problems at all.

sunlight

sunlight

I think this would be a nice work color. Now, I can wear any type of polish or nail art to work with no problems, so maybe what I mean is that this would be more of an…interview color? On other polish blogs, people are always refering to milky nudes as work colors, and that always astounds me – I never considered before that any nail polish could be too crazy for work! But even so, if I had to seperate my collection into “work” and “non-work” colors, I’d just dump all the pinks, mauves, reds, browns, sheers, and nudes into the Work category without even thinking about it – those are, to my mind, classic colors that are completely appropriate for any occasion. Maybe my work is just super super casual I guess.

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