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Posts Tagged ‘base/topcoats’

Barielle treatments II

Posted by manicuremania on September 22, 2009

Well my Barielle treatment test is OVER.

The cream leaves my fingers greasy as heck.

The cuticle oil is just gross. It may be fine, for a cuticle oil, but I kind of hate them. Again, oily greasy fingers.

My cuticles are in horrible horrible shape. Hard and cracked and dry.

As far as the topcoat, I have sheet marks even though I usually paint my nails hours before bedtime. Also I’ve got some chipping and general dullness. I miss my shiny shiny Seche!

I dunno about the basecoat, but I do know that I need to imediately find a different one that will protect my nails from yellowing a little more. And that’s not a knock on the Barielle basecoat, it includes my Orly Nail Armor also.

I think that these products probably aren’t necessarily bad. I just haven’t given the polish ones enough time to do anything, and the cream and oil just aren’t the type of product that I like.


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Healthy Nails Pack Review 1

Posted by manicuremania on September 14, 2009

I have such thin, peely, weak, prone-to-breakage nails! I have really been working hard lately to grow them out and I think I’ve just about hit my length limit – I just don’t think I can expect my retardo nails to get any longer than they currently are, so now I’m just working on maintaining and growing them all out to the same length. I am happy to say that with the extreme care I’ve been taking with them, most of the peeling has grown out and I haven’t had any breaks in a while!

But of course I’m always looking for products that will make my nail life easier, so I have decided to exclusively use my Healthy Nails Pack for the next while.

So, here it is:

bar healthy nails

These came free with an order over $85 (BEFORE DISCOUNTS!) from I’m not entirely sure how these will work out unless I leave my nails bare of polish, which of course I simply cannot do, so I’m going to have to get creative with the instructions.

First, bare nails. I’ll post pictures weekly and update on how I feel my nails are improving. I’m also going to attempt to go without (colored) polish a couple of times a week.

2009-9-14 right 2

2009-9-14 left 2Well…the peeling IS mostly gone, but there is some yellowing, more than I’d thought. My cuticles look pretty healthy though. There are a few tiny spots that are remnants of my Orly strengthener stuff.

So I can see the benefit of using each product seperately for a month each and waiting to see if there’s any noticeable improvement, but I just don’t have that kind of time or patience! So I’m jumping right in – new products to replace basecoat and topcoat, plus cuticle oil and some sort of nail cream. Aaaaaaaand, GO!

Nail Rebuilding Protein will replace my basecoat. I’m totally skipping the “use 2-3 times per week for 3 weeks without additional laquers to allow nails to breathe” part. The bottle says it can be used as a basecoat…I sure hope it doesn’t cause more staining from polish.

bar rebuilding

bar rebuilding 2

Clearly Noticeable Nail Thickener will be my new topcoat. I will probably also add Seche on top of that, depending on how tough it is. From the wording in the instructions I get the impression this is just a strengthening topcoat.

bar thickener

bar thickener 2

Intensive Nail Renewal Oil. Eh. I’m not that cool with this, because I don’t see how softening my cuticles with oily gross oil will be any better than the pure awesomeness that is CND Cuticle Eraser. It smells like Fruit Stripes gum and the brush is TERRIBLE – all bent and uneven and hard.

bar intense

bar intense 2

Nail Strengthener Cream. I have some issues with this one. First, how is this that much different from the cuticle oil? Second, “originally created to condition the hooves of million-dollar thoroughbred racehorses.” And third, “may be used over nail polish.” Um…I don’t think nail polish is permeable. If I put lotion of some sort on top of nail polish…it’s not gonna sink down into my nails. So basically, this is just another cuticle cream…right?

bar strength cream

bar strength cream 2

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Barielle – Slate Of Affairs

Posted by manicuremania on September 14, 2009

My goodness, I am on a roll with the awesome polishes lately!

bar slate

Slate Of Affairs is like…a slate blue with grey tones that shimmers bright blue. I love it.

One thing I’ve noticed about these new Barielles is that some of them are super thick and hard to control. Of course, some others are wonderfully runny (the way I prefer them) and those apply beautifully. Anyway, this was one of the bad ones – it took three coats and I still had a few sort of bald spots.

Barielle’s swatch:

bar slate swatchFairly accurate again!

bar slate 2

bar slate 3

Of course…I just couldn’t leave this beaautiful polish alone. I happened to go shopping today (it’s ok though, Sally’s giftcards totally don’t count) and I picked up…China Glaze Fairy Dust, among other things.

ch fairy dust

I’d never heard of this polish before, and I don’t understand why because it’s gorgeous! It’s very very fine holo glitter in a clear base, and I needed to try it out today!

bar slate 4Left blurry to show the holographic goodness!

bar slate 5

bar slate 6

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Sally Hansen – Gunmetal (matte)

Posted by manicuremania on September 12, 2009

I reallllly like Sally Hansen Gunmetal when it’s shiny, but it’s also pretty awesome matte-ified! This might be my favorite polish so far that I’ve tried with my Essie Matte About You topcoat. Metallics are great to matte-ify.

sh gunmetal matte 2

sh gunmetal matte 2

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Zoya – Malia

Posted by manicuremania on August 22, 2009

Wow, two purples in a row, and I despise purples generally! Oh but this is a niiiiice color. It’s a light purple, but not a pastel purple. It’s sort of a dusty, dirty light purple. Zoya’s site just describes it as a cool-toned violet creme, which doesn’t do it very much justice in my opinion. It’s quite a bit darker on my nails than in the bottle. I love it!

Now, I did have problems with application. I want so much to love Zoya, but…application was baaaaaad on this one. It was very runny, yet applied thickly, and it was practically dry before I could finish painting a nail. Is this that Big 3-Free syndrome I’ve heard about? Whatever it is, DO NOT WANT!

Like I said, it applied thickly, and it was almost a one-coater, but there were bald spots because of the instantly-drying thing. This is two coats.

in sunlight

in sunlight

I’ve gotten compliments on this one already!

Of course I got tired of it after like twelve hours, so I decided to play around with different things. I matte-ified my right hand with Essie Matte About You topcoat:


cuticles still bad

This is the first time I’ve matte-ed anything that wasn’t glitter or shimmery, and, it was just ok. It sort of just looked dull.

Then on my left hand, I figured I’d do a monochrome french tips design, but I didn’t have a darker purple that I wanted to use, so I whipped one up:

the ingredients

the ingredients

just tips

just tips

I freehanded the tips for the first time – always in the past I’ve used sticky strip guides. Not a bad look, but I was feeling more creative than that!

So, I added a white stripe below each dark tip, the used a fancy french Konad stamp in white special polish. The I thought the stripe looked dumb, so I covered it witb dark purple instead. It was fun to do, but didn’t really look good enought for me to keep it on. I think next I’ll try an asymmetrical french with a bright color for the tips and some stripes and dots – I’ve been seeing that all over the place lately.

taken in the rain!

taken in the rain!

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Review: Orly Nail Armor

Posted by manicuremania on August 8, 2009

I have extremely weak and thin nails that peel like crazy, so I’m always looking out for something to help with that. Lately I’ve been doing silk wraps on the tips, but it took so long to get them on and then get them smooth enough, and I found that they did not last even close to two weeks, as I’ve heard other people claim. So yesterday I picked up Orly Nail Armor and Orly Nail Rescue (for a future review).

Product: Orly Nail Armor
Price: $5.99

nail armor

the packaging

Manufacturer Says:

Nail Armor liquid nail wrap with Ridgefiller strengthens and reinforces nails with real silk fibers.

Details: Apply two coats and use as a basecoat.

My thoughts: Once applied, I could see the fibers on my nail, but it applied with a pretty smooth finish. It left little fibers sort of hanging off the ends of my nails that I had to file off. So far I don’t see much difference between this and any other random basecoat though. My nails might feel a tiny bit stronger…maybe. I’ll update soon with my final verdict.

2 coats on bare nails

2 coats on bare nails

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yay for free polishes

Posted by manicuremania on August 6, 2009

[first of all, my shift key is broken. sorry, it’s annoying.]

how in the world can zoya give away nail polish? i suppose they make lots of sales from people throwing more polishes in with their free orders to save on shipping, but i still find it odd. three free bottles??? 18 dollars in free polish??? they seem to do stuff like this every couple of months also, from what i can tell. that is awesome.

i currently only have one zoya polish, and i’ve only had it for maybe two weeks. yet another blue – kotori!

at no additional charge: 3 days of tipwear!

at no additional charge: 3 days of tipwear!

this is after a couple of days of wear. i love it – it’s not too dark for me, and it’s got some crazy shimmer going on!! and mattified with my new essie matte about you topcoat:

my cuticles terrify me

my cuticles horrify me

it’s not so great as a matte somehow. i like sparkly mattes generally, but this one just…it doesn’t make me happy in matte.

anyway, the colors i got from the free promotion thingy:

harley – pretty shimmery light grey. grey is extremely underrepresented in my collection and i intend to fix that.

jo – appears to be the prettiest muted blue shimmer ever. i can just never resist a blue polish! blue is my favorite color so i tend to buy up every blue i see and i sort of don’t actually wear blue polish. light blues sometimes make me think of corpses.

ali – i am not into neons. i am also not into pinks, but i think this would be kinda wacky and fun for a one-day color, and i think it would be awesome on my toenails. i tend to save the really bright or flashy or dark colors for my toes since my theory is that my toes being so far away from people’s faces mutes the color, whereas on my nails it would be totally in your face and i’d feel silly. i am trying to work on not thinking that my nails bother people. 🙂

malia – lavender creme. there was a time years ago when i despised every shade of purple. my reasoning was that everything purple is kinda sucky and artificial-grape flavored. grape popsicles, lollipops, jello, etc – gross. i’ve since gotten over my hatred of all things purple, but i’ve ended up with like 3 purple polishes, so i need to fix that also.

i also threw some remove+ in with my order. now the excruciating wait for the package to arrive!

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